Shrem, the former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, will
plead guilty next Thursday in New York federal court to unlicensed
money transmission, Marc Agnifilo, his lawyer told Reuters in an
Prosecutors had previously charged Shrem with operating an
unlicensed money transmitting business, money laundering conspiracy
and failing to file suspicious activity reports with government
Federal authorities shut down Silk Road last year, though a new
Internet marketplace under the same name was launched in November.
Prosecutors contend Silk Road enabled users to buy and sell illegal
drugs and other illicit goods and services.
Soon after his arrest in January, Shrem stepped down from his role
at the Bitcoin Foundation, a well-known trade group. He was
previously CEO of BitInstant, a bitcoin exchange company.
A notice of a plea hearing in the case of Shrem and his
co-defendant, Robert Faiella, was included in a calendar distributed
by court officials earlier Friday.
It was not immediately clear if Faiella, a Florida man who faced
similar charges as Shrem, will plead guilty or move ahead with trial
Sept. 22. He has previously pleaded not guilty.
But Faiella, 54, is expected to fly to New York for the hearing,
according to a court order filed Friday.
[to top of second column]
A lawyer for Faiella did not respond to requests for comment. A
spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined
Prosecutors are pursuing a separate case against Ross William
Ulbricht, the man accused of creating and operating Silk Road under
the name "Dread Pirate Roberts." He is set to face trial Nov. 3.
The case is U.S. v. Faiella, U.S. District Court, Southern District
of New York, No. 14-cr-00243.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.