Computer programmer Michael Weigand, known as “~Shabang~” on the silk road dark web market has been sentenced to eight months in prison. He was sentenced by District Court judge William H. Pauley III, for lying about providing technical assistance to the administrators of the Silk Road dark web marketplace.
The sentencing was announced by Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The sentencing was entered after Weigand’s accepted the guilty plea.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss Said:
Michael Weigand supplied technological advice directly to the leadership of Silk Road, a secret online marketplace for criminal activity. He laundered Silk Road proceeds and traveled overseas to remove Silk Road evidence from a co-conspirator’s residence. Weigand subsequently lied to law enforcement, falsely claiming to have done nothing for Silk Road, and has now been sentenced to prison for that knowing falsehood.
According to the court documents, Weigand was working as a computer programmer for the Silk Road dark web marketplace. He was known to Ross Ulbricht, and Ulbricht’s senior advisor, Roger Clark. He identified vulnerabilities in the market and information on how to patch them.
He was paid $75,000 for his contribution.
The bitcoin Weigand earned during his time working for the dark web market was laundered. Investigation, lead law enforcement to discover that Clark had transferredas much as $20,000 to Weigand. Weigand went to London attempting to remove evidence related to Silk Road from Roger Clark’s house in London.
Weigand lies about being a Silk Road Computer programmer
Computer programmer Weigand was questioned by FBI and IRS agents in January 2019. He was warned about making false statements about his involvement with Silk road. Federal prosecutors said that Weigand made the following false statements:
- He said that he never opened an account on Silk Road;
- He lied about using the online pseudonyms “Shabang” or “~Shabang~”;
- He said that he never transferred Bitcoin to Silk Road;
- He claimed that he never exposed security vulnerabilities in the Silk Road website;
- He claimed that he never communicated with anyone who used the online pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts,” “DPR,” or “Silk Road” (i.e., Ulbricht);
- He lied that he never performed any services for the Silk Road website and was never a Computer programmer on the marketplace;
- He lied about knowing the true identity of “Variety Jones” (Clark’s pseudonym) on Silk Road.
- He lied about the purpose of his visit to london in 2013 after the arrest of Ross Ulbritcht saying that he went there to meet with Clark’s associate regarding a marijuana seed business.
He was sentenced to eight months in prison and three years of supervised release for his crime of lying to federal agents.