Accused North Korea Sanctions Violator Released on $1M Bond







The Ethereum developer who was arrested in November and accused of trying to help North Korea use cryptocurrency and blockchain to evade sanctions has been released on a $1 million bond, the Inner City Press reports. Reports indicate that the accused, Virgil Griffith, will be required to remain with his parents during his release. The bond was reportedly secured by two family members’ homes.

Other terms of Griffith’s release will enable him to use his passport to travel to certain specified counties, including Canada and Mexico. In addition, the court ordered that he be allowed to use his email account for communication with his attorneys.

Griffith’s release was ordered by U.S. District Court judge Vernon S. Broderick, over the strong objections of prosecutors who reportedly spent much of the hearing “hammering away about the Dark Web and crypto currency wallets in Virgil Griffith’s apartment in Singapore, as well as his alleged mulling of buying a St. Kitts passport.”

Prosecutors allege that Griffith violated strict sanctions against North Korea’s communist regime when he traveled to the country to deliver a presentation on blockchain and cryptocurrency. His advice was allegedly designed to assist officials in their efforts to bypass sanctions using cryptocurrency money laundering schemes and other illicit means. If convicted of violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Griffith could face up to 20 years in prison.

Bail was reportedly denied at his first hearing on December 26, but granted at his appeal hearing on December 30.

Author: Ken Chase

Freelance writer whose interests include topics ranging from technology and finance to politics, fitness, and all things canine. Aspiring polymath, semi-professional skeptic, and passionate advocate for the judicious use of the Oxford comma.

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