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The Adviser to Ross Ulbricht, “Variety Jones” Sentenced 

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ByHarper Stewart

Aug 16, 2023
Adviser to Ross Ulbricht, "Variety Jones," sentenced
Harper Stewart
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Roger Thomas Clark, 61, became the most important figure in the management of Ulbricht’s Silk Road, according to court filings. Clark used the user names “Variety Jones,” “Plural of Mongoose,” “VJ,” and “cimon” on the black market. 

Ulbricht described how Variety Jones assisted him in finding a significant security flaw in the marketplace in his journal. Because of their friendship, Variety Jones was able to give him advice on every facet of running the market.

The Chat Logs

According to chat records that were obtained by law authorities, Clark urged Ulbricht to create a “cover story” and change his username on the market to make it appear as though he had sold Silk Road:

“Employ programmers to assist with infrastructure upkeep and improvement for the Silk Road. Make security upgrades, such as guaranteeing PGP encryption was utilized by everyone on the market. To enhance sales, advertise the marketplace. Order a murder-for-hire against a Silk Road employee who is accused of shoplifting.”

One of Ulbricht’s demands for his employees was to provide a scanned copy of their identification. On Ulbricht’s laptop, they discovered Clark’s passport saved as “cimon.jpg” in a folder called “IDs.”

The system’s chat logs also showed that Clark had relocated to Thailand in late 2012 from the UK. He was taken into custody on December 3 in Thailand. On June 15, 2018, he was returned to the United States.

The Sentence

On January 30, 2020, Clark entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute drugs. U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein also sentenced Clark to three years of supervised release after his 20-year prison term and required him to forfeit more than $1.6 million on July 11, 2023. 

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Harper Stewart

With a deep understanding of the complexities of the Dark Web, Harper curates informative and thought-provoking content for our readers. Her knowledge of the hidden corners of the internet and cybersecurity helps shed light on the often mysterious and illicit activities that take place in this realm.