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The FBI Is Investigating Whether a Crooked Agent Harassed Variety Jones

The former Silk Road mentor says a pseudonymous agent has been feeding him information.
September 28, 2015, 5:01pm
Image: Shutterstock

Yesterday, the man believed to be former Silk Road architect Variety Jones made a series of accusations against someone he suspects of being a corrupt Federal Bureau of Investigation employee.

Those crimes include leaking sensitive information, extorting the owners of dark web marketplaces for bitcoins, and more.

The FBI is not ignoring the accusations.

"We are aware of the allegations made by Variety Jones and have forwarded them to the appropriate office for review," an FBI spokesperson told Motherboard in an emailed statement. "The FBI takes claims of employee misconduct seriously as we are an agency with the mission of upholding the law."

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Earlier this month, Motherboard published an extensive investigation into the identity of Variety Jones, based on the previous work of independent researcher "La Moustache." Variety Jones made financial and security decisions around the Silk Road, and was referred to by Ross Ulbricht as a "mentor."

Motherboard named Variety Jones as Roger or Thomas Clark, a Canadian man in his fifties, and tracked him down to the Thai island of Koh Chang.

Then last week, one of Clark's dormant user names, "Plural of Mongoose," came back online. Plural of Mongoose started posting long, autobiographical writings onto a cannabis enthusiast forum. He also identified himself in one of the posts as a Roger Thomas Clark.

As for the allegations raised, Variety Jones claimed that an FBI agent approached him under an online pseudonym and provided inside information on federal investigations before they were made public.

"Diamond," as the supposed FBI agent eventually identified himself as, was allegedly determined to access a Bitcoin wallet file containing 300,000 BTC, previously belonging to convicted Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht.

When Variety Jones wouldn't help Diamond access the wallet, Diamond said he would kidnap Ulbricht's mother and sister in order to force Ulbricht to hand over the password, according to Variety Jones's forum post.

At this point, there is no way to independently verify Variety Jones's claims, but Motherboard has independently confirmed the identity of the individual behind the account making the accusations.