Why did a billionaire go to jail for what is arguably his most lucrative venture?
After a year and a half in jail, a man who’s made billions selling counterfeit products on the dark web is back in business.
It was a case of bad timing, according to a lawsuit filed by entrepreneur and former New York City police officer Jonathan Davis, who was arrested on suspicion of running a dark web marketplace.
He claims he was targeted by law enforcement after he tried to raise money for the purchase of counterfeit goods on Silk Road, a site where drug dealers sell illicit goods on the black market for $20 to $30 a pop.
It’s a story that’s been around for years, but never fully told, and one that was brought to light last year when Davis was arrested in connection with a $1 million Silk Road Silk Road bust.
The FBI, which is currently investigating Silk Road for its role in the Silk Road drug trafficking, is reportedly investigating Davis for alleged money laundering.
The DOJ’s criminal division, meanwhile, is also looking into the case, but it has yet to make a decision on whether to file charges against Davis.
The case began when police discovered Davis was selling counterfeit goods, including an iPhone 5 and a Blackberry smartphone.
The pair were arrested on March 12 and charged with drug trafficking.
They were initially held in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, but were released a day later.
A spokesperson for the NYPD told BuzzFeed News that they are still investigating the matter and have not yet made a decision.
Davis was released from jail on March 15, and he now runs the business under the name Jonathan Davis.
He told BuzzFeed that he’s been receiving death threats after the arrest and that he has been threatened to kill his wife, his mother-in-law, and his daughter.
“They’re trying to make me pay for what I did,” he said.
“The law is clear: if you sell counterfeit products you can be charged with a felony.”
The prosecution of Davis is likely related to a separate case, according the law enforcement official, who noted that there is a similar charge filed against another New York man named Alexander Breslin, who is accused of running the same dark web market.
But Davis claims the investigation into Bresler and Silk Road is separate from his case.
“I don’t think it’s related to Silk Road,” he told BuzzFeed.
“It’s a very serious matter, and it has nothing to do with me.
I have no affiliation with Silk Road whatsoever.”
A spokesperson from the DOJ declined to comment on the matter.
“We have no comment at this time,” he added.
A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office told BuzzFeed, “At this time, we are not commenting on any specific investigation.”
Bresl has since returned to New York and is facing charges in the case.
The charges in Bresling’s case are related to his sale of counterfeit electronics, but Davis said that he doesn’t believe Breslan is related to him.
“There’s no connection between this case and Silk River,” he explained.
“This case is in New York.
We have no connection whatsoever.”