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Former federal agents charged with stealing bitcoin during Silk Road investigation

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell
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Two former federal agents were accused of stealing bitcoin while investigating digital black market Silk Road.

In a complaint issued on March 25, 2015 in California and unsealed Monday, the two agents were charged with money laundering, wire fraud and related offenses for absconding with the cryptocurrency.

Both men were part of Baltimore's Silk Road task force, according to the Justice Department. Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's criminal division announced the charges along with other officials.

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Former Drug Enforcement Agent Carl Force allegedly developed online personas and engaged in illegal activities including "complex Bitcoin transactions to steal from the government and the targets of the investigation," the Justice Department said.

Meanwhile, Secret Service Agent Shaun Bridges allegedly diverted to his personal account over $800,000 in digital currency that he controlled during the Silk Road investigation.

Force was arrested in Baltimore on Friday, and Bridges self-surrendered on Monday. Both were scheduled to appear in court on Monday, the Justice Department said.

—Reuters contributed to this report.