COURT DOC: Senior Adviser To The Operator Of The “Silk Road” Website Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court

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January 30, 2020

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROGER THOMAS CLARK, a/k/a ‘Plural of Mongoose,’ a/k/a ‘Variety Jones,’ a/k/a ‘VJ,’ a/k/a ‘cimon,’ pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute massive quantities of narcotics, a charge arising out of his role as the senior adviser to the owner and operator of the ‘Silk Road’ online illicit black market. During its operation from 2011 until 2013, Silk Road was used by thousands of drug dealers and other unlawful vendors to distribute illegal drugs and other illicit goods and services to more than 100,000 buyers, and to launder hundreds of millions of dollars derived from those unlawful transactions.

CLARK was described by Ulbricht as a ‘real mentor’ who advised Ulbricht about, among other things, security vulnerabilities in the Silk Road site, technical infrastructure, the rules that governed Silk Road users and vendors, and the promotion of sales on Silk Road, including the sales of narcotics. CLARK also provided advice to Ulbricht on developing a ‘cover story’ to make it appear as though Ulbricht had sold Silk Road. CLARK also assisted with hiring programmers to help improve the infrastructure of, and maintain, Silk Road. CLARK also was responsible for gathering information on law enforcements efforts to investigate Silk Road. And CLARK advised Ulbricht on how to protect the Silk Road empire. For instance, when a Silk Road staff member was suspected of stealing $350,000 in Bitcoin from the site, CLARK suggested to Ulbricht that Ulbricht commission a murder-for-hire. Ulbricht took that suggestion. (Ultimately, unbeknownst to both men, the attempted murder-for-hire did not result in any harm to the target.)

CLARK was paid at least hundreds of thousands of dollars for his assistance in operating Silk Road. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)

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