On Thursday, Ethereum developer and accused sanctions violator Virgil Griffith pleaded not guilty to charges that he had violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), Coindesk reports. Griffith was indicted earlier this month for allegedly providing North Korea with information that could help them use digital currencies to evade sanctions.
According to U.S. prosecutors, Griffith traveled to North Korea to attend a conference. While there, he allegedly delivered a presentation explaining how that country’s regime could use cryptocurrencies to blunt the impact of U.S. and international sanctions. Griffith had been told by officials from the U.S. Treasury Department that the trip would violate sanctions, but reportedly ignored the advice.
Griffith’s attorney has argued that he should not have been indicted and vowed to battle the charges, which carry up to 20 years in prison. Meanwhile, the government has already started the discovery process by providing documents.
According to reports, the next hearing in the case is currently scheduled for March 17.