In an update to the two-year-old story of the Sheep Marketplace, Czech authorities have identified what they believe to be the owner, after discovering him trying to launder the money. Sheep Marketplace was a deep web market similar to Silk Road which shut down in December 2013 after claiming to be the victim of a hack, but even at the time this claim was suspicious, because withdrawals had stopped as long as a week prior to the announcement.
At the time, the missing Bitcoins were worth around $40 million, almost four times the size of the recent Evolution exit scam. Thomas Jiřikovský was caught attempting to launder some of the money when he bought an expensive house and tried to transfer large sums money to his girlfriend’s bank account. When questioned, his girlfriend, Eva Bartošová, had no good explanation for the transfer into her account of some 900,000 Crowns (~$36,000 USD). This kicked off an investigation into the couple’s finances overall. The first thing they discovered was that transfers from the same sources had previously been larger.
The couple had previously dumped a large amount of the proceeds into a lavish estate they put into the name of Jiřikovský’s grandfather, Jan Goliath, but police were not fooled. “Houses have been paid in full from the funds received through transactions of virtual currency Bitcoin,” they reportedly told Hospodářské Noviny, the Czech economic news outlet.
It’s all too common these days that Bitcoin marketplaces of the deep web and surface web variety claim a hack but are really just stealing the coins.