Thomas White was jailed for five years and four months
An unemployed university drop-out, jailed for running a dark web business selling illegal drugs has been ordered to hand over more than £490,000 in bitcoin.
Thomas White, now 26, ran Silk Road 2.0 – an illicit site which specialised in supplying class A and B drugs.
When National Crime Agency (NCA) officers raided White’s luxury waterfront flat they discovered a laptop under his bed which contained 464 indecent images of children.
White pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, money laundering and making 464 category A indecent images of children. He was jailed for five years and four months in 2019.
After he was jailed the NCA continued to investigate his finances.
At a proceeds of crime hearing at Liverpool Crown Court on October 26 HHJ Teague QC ordered White to repay £493,550.00 from his bitcoin holdings. All electronic items used by White in commission of the offences were also forfeited.
Self-taught computer whizz White took over the running of the notorious dark web site Silk Road after it the FBI closed it in 2013.
White, who left his accounting degree at Liverpool John Moores University after a single term, was an administrator of the Silk Road. But within a month of its shutdown he launched Silk Road 2.0.
It used used technology to allow users to anonymously buy and sell drugs, computer hacking tools and other illegal goods, using the digital currency bitcoin.
Although he had no legitimate income, White paid £10,700 up front to rent his plush apartment on Liverpool’s waterfront.
Speaking after the recent hearing at Liverpool Crown Court Tyrone Surgeon, Branch Commander at the NCA said: “Thomas White was a well-regarded member of the original Silk Road hierarchy. He used this to his advantage when the original site was closed down and profited significantly from his criminal activity.
“This case proves that crime doesn’t pay – not only has he spent the last two years in prison, he now has to hand over nearly £500,000.
“This has been a complex, international investigation and highlights that we will use every tool at our disposal to disrupt organised criminals from profiting from their crime.”