Lyn Ulbricht: Silk Road Had Multiple Dread Pirate Roberts
There were many inconsistencies in the trial of Ross Ulbricht, convicted and sentenced for operating the Silk Road Marketplace, in 2015. His mother Lyn Ulbricht has since become the public face for the campaign to highlight her son’s case and its unjust nature. In this short interview with Bitsonline‘s George Levy, Lyn details how Ross was not the only “Dread Pirate Roberts” who administered the site.
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‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ Logged Into Silk Road While Ross Ulbricht Was in Prison
Lyn Ulbricht spoke earlier this week at the North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) in Miami. Silk Road, and Ross Ulbricht himself, have become causes célèbre for many in the bitcoin industry after BTC was used as the default currency for transactions on the site.
“Ross was basically a trophy for the prosecution, and took the brunt for the entire thing,” Lyn says, noting evidence (withheld from the jury at his trial) that more than one person acted as “Dread Pirate Roberts”. One of them even managed to log into the account seven weeks after Ross was imprisoned.
Whatever your views on Ross Ulbricht’s guilt are, however, many have agreed his double life sentence plus 40 years, without the possibility of parole, is excessive. Lyn feels the authorities made an example of her son, possibly due to Silk Road’s use of bitcoin and the dark web. While Ross never sold drugs himself, the largest drug seller on the Silk Road Marketplace received only 10 years behind bars. The administrator of the (larger) Silk Road 2.0 was released after 13 days.
Now It’s ‘Up to the President’
“What we’re working for now is a commutation of this draconian sentence. And that would be up to the President.” She is asking everyone interested to sign a petition for clemency, which has a goal of 500,000 signatures.
Ross’ conviction for money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics — and later, evidence of malfeasance by the investigators involved — have kept his case in the public eye in the years since. However his avenues for appeal have since been exhausted, most recently in June 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
At this stage his best hope is advocacy, which Lyn leads every day.
“Ross will never get out — unless we get him out,” she says.
Have you signed, or would you sign, Lyn Ulbricht’s petition? Tell us about it in the comments.
Images and video via Bitsonline, George Levy