Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Silk Road mastermind gets life in prison

May 29, 2015

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LinkedIn image via Forbes.com

The man behind the online black marketplace Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole, Wired reported.

The judge also imposed nearly $184 million in fines on Ulbricht, making him responsible for all of the illegal transactions that occurred on Silk Road, Motherboard reports. The sentence was much tougher than many experts had anticipated.

Silk Road allowed users to anonymously purchase a multitude of illegal drugs along with fake IDs on a site that operated on the dark web using an online currency called bitcoins, The New York Times reported.

Ulbricht made millions of dollars in commission from Silk Road sales, according to prosecutors, the Times said.

Many people have been keeping an eye on the Silk Road case because this was the first time the government expanded the statute of money laundering to include digital currencies such as bitcoin, Business Insider reported.

For story ideas, talk with local economists about illegal economies such as large drug trades like Silk Road. See the impact and where those dollars go and how much is being spent. See if the delivery services that Silk Road sellers used are still looking out for illegal drugs.

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