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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Alleged Silk Road Founder’s Lawyer Moves to Dismiss Charges Against His Client

•, By Kim Zetter
 Defense lawyer Joshua Dratel is asking the court to dismiss all four charges in Ulbricht’s New York indictment, including a money laundering charge that he says doesn’t apply because the currency used for the alleged crime — Bitcoin — does not qualify as a “money instrument” under the law.

The other charges are a narcotics conspiracy charge, one count of running a criminal enterprise, and one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking. Dratel, in his motion to dismiss (.pdf), is asking those counts to be thrown out on the grounds that the laws are unconstitutionally vague and have been misapplied to the case, since they do not cover Ulbricht’s alleged conduct. He further asserts that the term “access without authorization” in the computer hacking charge is “undefined.”

If he were to win the motion, Ulbricht would still face serious charges in a separate federal indictment in Maryland.

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