Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year old founder of Silk Road, a black market website, was found guilty on all counts by a New York court jury on Wednesday. Money laundering, drug trafficking, identity theft and computer hacking were among the seven counts charged by the US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Generating nearly £140 million in total sales revenue and almost £9 million in commissions before being shut down by US federal investigators in 2013, Ulbricht, under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts,” received a portion of every transaction that took place on Silk Road.
According to online news sources, Ulbricht's defence statement said he had walked away from the site just a few months after creating it. His original intention for Silk Road, according to Ulbricht's attorneys, was a “freewheeling, free market site.” With ample prosecuting evidence suggesting Ulbricht never stepped away from running the site and continued collecting its profits, after a three week trial the jury took “just a few hours” to unanimously find him guilty.