2 Bitcoin operators plead guilty in Silk Road case

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — The top executive of a New York City-based Bitcoin company and a Florida Bitcoin exchanger have pleaded guilty to enabling money to be funneled to the black market website Silk Road.

Charlie Shrem, of Manhattan, and Robert Faiella entered their pleas in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday. The case grew from the government's shutdown of Silk Road. Shrem was chief executive officer of BitInstant, while Faiella operated an unlicensed money transferring business.

They were accused of letting more than $1 million in Bitcoins reach the website, where they said narcotics were bought and sold.

Authorities have said Silk Road's San Francisco operator generated more than $1 billion in illicit business since 2011 on the website. It used Bitcoin, a tough-to-track digital currency, before being shut down.