Former US special agents Shaun Bridges and Carl Force have been charged with stealing large amounts of Bitcoin, which came into their possession during an investigation into the notorious Silk Road marketplace.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) alleges that Shaun Bridges stole more than $800,000 in Bitcoin.
Carl Force has also been charged with money laundering.
Best known for selling illegal drugs, Silk Road was closed in 2013 following raids by the FBI and other agencies.
The man accused of running the site, Ross Ulbricht, was convicted in February, and prosecutors argued that he had earned about $18 million in Bitcoin from the operation.
One of his tasks involved communicating with Ross Ulbricht, known online as “Dread Pirate Roberts.”
The DoJ alleges that “without authority”, Carl Force, 46, “developed additional online personas and engaged in a broad range of illegal activities calculated to bring him personal financial gain”.
“In doing so, the complaint alleges, Force used fake online personas, and engaged in complex Bitcoin transactions to steal from the government and the targets of the investigation.
“In one such transaction, Force allegedly sold information about the government’s investigation to the target of the investigation.”
Carl Force is charged with wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering and conflict of interest.
Shaun Bridges, who worked for the US Secret Service, is charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
The DoJ alleges that Shaun Bridges transferred more than $800,000 in Bitcoin into an account at MtGox, a Japanese digital currency exchange that filed for bankruptcy in February.
“He then allegedly wired funds into one of his personal investment accounts in the United States mere days before he sought a $2.1 million seizure warrant for Mt. Gox’s accounts,” the DoJ says.
Shaun Bridges and Carl Force are appearing in a San Francisco court on March 30.