Ross Ulbricht, who stands accused of running the Silk Road black market under the name "Dread Pirate Roberts” says a new IRS ruling that bitcoin is not a currency nullifies at least some of the charges against him.
Ulbricht is charged with hacking, narcotics trafficking, operating a criminal conspiracy, and money laundering. It is to the final charge that Ulbricht’s lawyers are offering a surprisingly metaphysical defense—namely that Ulbricht can not be guilty of money laundering if bitcoin is not a currency.
Ulbricht’s lawyers argue that while the other charges against their client are overly broad, the final charge just doesn’t make sense since under IRS (and several other government) guidelines, bitcoins don’t , fit the exact definition of "funds" or "monetary instruments" used in anti-money laundering laws.
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