Australian authorities last year seized about 24,500 Bitcoins from a Melbourne Silk Road drug dealer. Richard Pollard ran a web shop on the Silk Road website. He was accused of selling various illicit drugs between August and December, 2012. Last Friday, Richard Pollard was sentenced in the County Court of Melbourne to 11 years.
Police were monitoring Pollard’s every last move in late 2012; when they executed a search warrant on two properties they found a variety of drugs and computer equipment along with about $58,000 in cash. But some months later, authorities found three Bitcoin wallets containing 24,518 Bitcoins (about $9.3 Million dollars) stored on his equipment.
According to court documents, during his house searches investigators also found express post envelopes used to distribute drugs and printouts from online trading site Silk Road showing names and addresses for drug orders.
He was arrested in late 2013 and Bitcoins found in his possession were confiscated. The stash of Bitcoins found was subjected to a restraining order and has been held by the Department of Justice so far.
Now after proven guilty and having been sentenced, these Bitcoins will be sold in an auction. This will only happen after the appeal period expiration ending in 28 days. After being sold the returns will go to the state’s consolidated funds.
Despite this, The Department of Justice and Regulation’s has expressed that it is in the state’s major interest that the assets seized should be sold at their best value:
“With the volatility in price for bitcoins, it is important that the sale of the coins on the open market is done at a time and way to get the best value”
The confiscated bitcoins are now in the hands of the Asset Confiscation Operations office and will start to be sold after the appeal request period which will be ending by the end of April. Most probably this will be a very slow process and will have little impact on the market.