Thomas White has been ordered to hand over $667,000 (£490,000) worth of Bitcoin by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), per Sky News.
White, 26, ran the Silk Road darknet market following the arrest of Ross Ulbricht, the original creator of the website, in 2013. After the website was shut down by law enforcement, White dropped out of an accounting degree to work on its successor site, Silk Road 2.0.
In 2019, White pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, money laundering, as well as producing 464 Category A images of child abuse—the worst category of child abuse images—and was jailed for a total of five years and four months.
“Thomas White was a well-regarded member of the original Silk Road hierarchy. He used this to his advantage when the original site was closed down and profited significantly from his criminal activity,” said Tyrone Surgeon of the NCA.
White and Silk Road 2.0
Silk Road 2.0 was a lot like its predecessor.
On Silk Road 2.0, users could make use of Tor—an anonymized web browser—to access the darknet marketplace and use Bitcoin to purchase illicit goods like drugs.
White took a hefty commission on purchases, ranging between 1% and 5% on each sale. According to investigators, approximately $96 million (£73 million) was spent on the site.
“Although he had no legitimate income, White paid £10,700 upfront to rent his plush apartment on Liverpool’s city water front,” the NCA added.
“This proves that crime doesn’t pay—not only has he spent the last two years in prison, he now has to hand over nearly £500,000,” the NCA also said.