Charlie Shrem has written his final goodbye before heading to prison. He will be surrendering to Lewisburg Federal Prison Camp in Pennsylvania on March 30.
Shrem pleaded guilty to charges of unlicensed money transmission as part of a plea deal. Through his bitcoin exchange Bitinstant, he was accused of supporting the bitcoin-based economy of the Silk Road marketplace. Initial charges in the case included money laundering. Earlier this year, he was sentenced to two years in prison.
At the start of his post, he acknowledges having dreaded to write it, and it sat in draft for a few weeks.
From his description of his new temporary home, it may seem like he’s going on vacation:
“Lewisburg Camp seems like a nice place, it offers outstanding recreational facilities including a walking track; a basketball court; softball fields and exercise equipment.”
Throughout the post, Shrem indicated a generally positive attitude about his situation and expressed hope for the future. “Good times are coming and I look forward to it,” he writes. He expresses no defiance, nor denial over the accusations, saying, “Of course I don’t look for sympathy, I did the crime and I will do the time.”
He is relieved to have gotten off with only two years after earlier in the case, thirty years had been recommended. Undoubtedly, his legal counsel pulled off a tremendous feat, and also helped Shrem get relaxed terms of house arrest, allowing him to continue his activity in the Bitcoin world.
Indeed, it is interesting to contrast the tale of his custody versus that of Ross Ulbricht, also convicted this year, though the difference in gravity between their crimes is obvious. Ulbricht has remained behind bars in a Brooklyn prison since his arrest. He faces at least thirty years, possibly life. His defense during the trial was a total flop and there were constant run ins with the judge; the jury reached their decision fairly easily.
Shrem provides information where he can be sent mail and donations. Items can be mailed to:
Reg. No. 92164-054
USP Lewisburg Satellite Camp
P.O. Box 2000
Lewisburg, PA 17837
Donations can be made via several channels, the most obvious being bitcoin, which can be sent to this address. Five transactions totaling 0.39 BTC ($100) have been received thus far. He is also accepting Western Union/MoneyGram orders, which he says he will be able to access more quickly than the bitcoin donations.