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Georgia Man Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Stealing 50,000 Bitcoin from Silk Road Marketplace in 2012


A Georgia man was given a one-year prison term for stealing more than 50,000 Bitcoin from the Silk Road marketplace in 2012. James Zhong was given a year and a day in jail, according to a news statement from the US Justice Department on Friday, for crimes related to executing a scheme to steal more than 51,680 Bitcoin from the Silk Road drug trafficking website.

Zhong has been charged with one count of wire fraud for illegitimately obtaining about 50,000 Bitcoin through the Silk Road dark web marketplace. The federal agency claims that during a search of Zhong’s Gainesville, Georgia, residence in 2021, US authorities found roughly 50,676 Bitcoin, totaling more than $3.36 billion.

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Zhong has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a potential 20-year prison sentence.

According to the prosecution, Zhong spent $16 million of the stolen Bitcoins before his detention on Lamborghinis, luxury hotels, real estate ventures, and nightclubs.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have asked the judge to give him less than two years in prison, citing his youth, his autism, and his help in recovering the stolen crypto. 

He was “severely bullied and victimized by his peers because he was different — he was extremely shy, overweight, and most significantly, suffered from undiagnosed autism spectrum disorder,” Zhong’s lawyers said in court papers. 


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