Man wants his portion of bitcoins seized in Silk Road bust

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Peter Ward, who is from the UK, is trying to reclaim his small fraction of the bitcoins seized in the Silk Road bust.

The seizure by the FBI claimed $164 million dollars worth of bitcoins. 100 of those coins, worth at this moment $83,910 USD, were originally Ward’s. Because he claims he earned them through his legal headshop business, Planet Pluto, he wants them back, and is at this moment looking to retain a lawyer.

“I’m probably in a unique position in that I can prove my coins came from selling legal items,” said Ward. “I sold on Silk Road because it had a large user base that matched my target customers. Where better to sell king-size rolling papers?

Despite being taken into custody on October 2nd, and having marijuana and cocaine seized, Ward has not been officially charged with any crime. Because of that the FBI should have thought about Ward’s portion of the bitcoins before seizing all of them, says Steven L Kessler, the lawyer that Ward is currently trying to retain.

“The statute requires that if the government of the United States has knowledge of an individual with an asset subject to forfeiture, the owner has to get notice,” Kessler said. “Clearly after you’ve arrested a person, you have direct knowledge.”

He added that “laundromats that are fronts for illegal activities still have washers and dryers. The operation of the washing and drying machines, barring another argument, isn’t illegal. Whirlpool isn’t going to be charged with illegal activity because they’re supplying the equipment.”

At the moment Ward has started a fundraising effort in order to afford the cost of a lawyer. “They are my coins and I don’t want the FBI to use them for their nefarious purposes,” he said. “But who wouldn’t want to stick it to the man if they had the chance?”

[via Forbes, image via antanacoins’ flickr]

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6 comments

  1. JMJ

    This Mr. Peter Ward is an idiot and living proof of what illegal-drug use does to the human brain: his is fried.

    Prior notice to a suspected criminal that a police agency is about to raid and arrest you??? Yeah, right!

    “Dear Mr. Suspected Criminal,

    Please confirm our Tuesday, 1 o’clock appointment to search your premises for evidence of criminality. If that is not convenient, have your people contact our people to arrange a more convenient time.

    Thanks and warm, fuzzy regards.

    Yours truly,

    The Cops”

  2. MikeR

    Is there any significance in the man’s age???? I’m going to find dot tech’s news reports incredibly tedious if every time there’s a story about another living human being, the person’s age gets plastered in large type across the top of the article. This report could equally as well have said that Five foot six inches tall man wants his portion of bitcoins seized in Silk Road bust. Or, to be definitive:

    Bald brown-eyed five foot six inches tall twice divorced parrot keeping German speaking slightly tanned man born in Ohio but brought up in Queens wants his portion of bitcoins seized in Silk Road bust.

    There. Better.

  3. Ghenghis McCann

    “… stick it to the man …” Does anybody still say that? Then again, he must be caught in an old hippy timewarp if he hasn’t heard that Pluto has been demoted from planetary status.