Charlie Shrem attends Tribeca Talks: After The Movie: The Rise and Rise Of Bitcoin during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival at the SVA Theater on April 23, 2014 in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz—Getty Images
December 22, 2014

A prominent Bitcoin trader was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday for facilitating an illicit exchange of bitcoins for cash through the online marketplace, Silk Road.

Charlie Shrem, a former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, stood accused of securing roughly $1 million in bitcoins for Robert Failla, a Silk Road user who allegedly helped drug trafficking rings swap the digital currency for cash, the BBC reports.

Shrum’s defense team argued that he was only a Bitcoin enthusiast unwittingly caught up in an illicit trade, but the presiding judge ruled that Shrum was not, “some kid making a one-time mistake,” and the evidence suggested that Shrum “excitedly” supplied a steady stream of Bitcoins to Silk Road’s users. Shrum was also ordered to forfeit $950,000 to U.S. authorities, BBC reports.

Law enforcement officials shut down Silk Road following a 2013 sting operation against its users.

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