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Alleged “Dread Pirate Roberts” Says IRS Ruling Makes Charges Against Him Illogical

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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