Ross Ulbricht’s Mother ‘Hopeful’ President Trump Could Pardon Silk Road Founder

Kevin O'Brien

Lyn Ulbricht remains hopeful President Donald Trump’s affinity for pardons could mean her son, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, could one day go free.

In 2015, Ross Ulbricht was given two life sentences with an additional 40 years after being arrested by authorities in 2013 for his role as operator of the Silk Road Marketplace. His punishment came with no option of parole.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance UK, Lyn Ulbricht admitted Ross’ work and foundation of the Silk Road was a “frankly reckless idea.”

She said he did it not to harm others, but “…because he was on fire for freedom as a young guy…who believed in privacy and free markets.”

A Longstanding Clemency Petition For Ross Ulbricht

The debate over Ross Ulbricht’s sentence contains to remain a contentious issue. Some believe the punishment was justified. Others think it was a draconian decision by the government.

In July, Lyn Ulbricht started a Change.org petition asking for clemency for Ross. The petition noted how the punishment was overly harsh, especially since his charges were all non-violent and he had no criminal history.

As of press time, 111,673 people have signed the petition. It has recieved support from Shapeshift founder Eric Voorhees and Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, who have Tweeted a link to it.

In the interview, Lyn Ulbricht indicated how one of Ross’s charge as a “kingpin” was an “abuse of power” because “he’s not Pablo Escobar.”

She argues the sentence for Ross was disproportionate to the crimes committed, which represents a “trend that must change.”

Questions If A Murder-For-Hire Was Real

A large part of the arrest and trial of Ross Ulbricht centralized around allegations he arranged for a murder-for-hire to take out a blackmailer and other individuals, according to Yahoo Finance UK.

One of the purported ‘hits’ incorporated an undercover FBI agent who staged a photo of a death.

Lyn Ulbricht expressed a belief the entire scheme was a sting that was organized by someone else who was logged onto the account of ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’ while Ross Ulbricht was away. She said the alleged chat logs concerning the situation were written in a style and format very different than Ross usually communicated in.

Ross Ulbricht’s mom indicated he was “coping very well” in the USP Florence ‘supermax’ prison in Colorado. He is able to maintain some connection with the outside world by dictating Tweets to visitors and receiving letters and other notes in the mail.

Venezuela Suspends Free Fuel Amid Shortages, Petro (PTR) an Option for Payment

Colin Muller

According to a missive from the Venezuelan government, citizens will be able to pay for gasoline in the national Petro (PTR) cryptocurrency, in addition to U.S. dollars.

The switch comes amid a larger move from the socialist government, ending its long-standing free gasoline subsidies to citizens amid shortages that have recently hit the country. The Financial Times reports that Venezuelans will still receive 60 liters a month for almost free, at $0.02 per liter—enough to fill an average car twice.

Anything more than that will have to be purchased at close to market price, about $0.50 per liter, and only at one of 200 government approved gasoline stations.

Patria Cards

Moreover, in order to be eligible for this subsidised gas, Venezuelans are obliged to sign up to receive their Patria—Fatherland—card. Many citizens have bristled at the prospect of being forced onto this government program, seeing it as an intrusive method of government control.

Indeed, use of the Patria card goes through a government system called the Sistema Biopago, or “Bio-pay System”, a biometric identity system.

Once an oil-producing country, mismanagement of Venezuela’s nationalized oil industry over the last two decades has resulted in a precipitous fall in production.

In addition, relentless US sanctions in recent years on oil from Venezuela have helped to cripple the country’s economy; and the recent historic collapse in the price of oil, following a collapse in global demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, seems to have been the straw on Venezuela’s back.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com