Justice Department Accuses Bitcoin Advocate of Aiding Underground MSB Tied to Drug Bazaar

By Brian Monroe and Brian Orsak

A well-known advocate of digital currencies and the head of a Bitcoin exchange house facilitated over $1 million in transactions tied to an online black market, federal prosecutors said Monday. In a criminal complaint, the Southern District of New York accused Charlie Shrem, the chief executive officer and compliance officer of BitInstant, of helping Robert Faiella, the head of an underground exchange house, sell bitcoins to users of the now-defunct Web site Silk Road. In October, the department shut down the site, which served as a market for illegal narcotics, arms and criminal services. Operating under the moniker "BTCKing," Faiella...