22 November 2013 | By Runa A. Sandvik | forbes.com
On Thursday, a judge denied Ross Ulbricht bail after a prosecutor for the U.S. attorney’s office accused the alleged Silk Road mastermind with attempting to hire hitmen to kill six people. One of those targets led the biggest scam in the anonymous online drug market’s two-and-a-half year long history, conning users out of thousands of dollars on a day informally celebrated as a marijuana holiday.
While Ulbricht had already been accused of two for-hire kills, the four additional incidents presented in a New York district court by prosecutor Serrin Turner includes one hit commissioned against a former site vendor named “tony76.” Though his real identity remains unknown, tony76 is believed to have schemed users of up to a quarter million dollars last year in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, according to claims by at least one Silk Roadforum moderator.
In explaining the murder-for-hire against tony76, Turner portrayed Ulbricht as vengeful, hoping to reacquire the money that was supposedly stolen from Silk Road users. He is a “danger to the community,” wrote the prosecutor in a letter to the court opposing Ulbricht’s bail. “There is no reason to believe that he would not again resort to violence to protect himself.”