Thursday, February 27, 2014

Charlie Shrem Talks About His Arrest

During an exclusive interview with Emily Spaven CoinDesk, Charlie Shrem told her:

I didn’t know what was going on. One minute I was getting off my flight, the next I was being arrested.
The way they did it – arresting me at the airport in front of a ton of people – the whole thing was set up to make me look like a criminal..

According to Spaven, Shrem believes his arrest was carefully planned by the federal government to damage the public’s perception of bitcoin. He thinks the media hasn’t helped matters, either, by “making assumptions” and publishing articles “without knowing the full story”[...] A document published by the Manhattan US Attorney alleged Shrem knew 52-year-old Florida native Robert M Faiella was “operating a bitcoin exchange service for Silk Road users” and that the authorities have email correspondence to prove this.

The way Shrem sees it, Faiella allegedly advertised his services on Silk Road, and would send his customers on to BitInstant.

These customers would conduct the transactions themselves, then send the money to their own Mt. Gox accounts. Once on this site, they would buy bitcoins, transfer the bitcoin to their Silk Road account and buy illicit goods.

“Now how many times am I removed from that already?” he added.

I can understand Shrem's desire to attempt to get his side of the story out, but it makes little sense for him to personally talk about the arrest before trial. It is extremely dangerous. One slip up and he end up giving prosecutors the one item that advances their case.

Shrem also gave Spanven his take on the CEO of Mt. Gox:
I’ve known Mark Karpeles for a very long time. Mark is a very sweet guy. Very non-confrontational, but has he made bad business decisions? Yes. Has he failed to do everything he should have? Yes.

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