Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith violated the terms of his bail and was taken into custody after allegedly accessing his cryptocurrency account.
The detention order came from U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel after Griffith allegedly sought access to Ethereum’s assets held by Coinbase in May.
Ethereum developer is likely to spend another two months behind bars. He is due to be tried on September 21 on charges of conspiracy to allegedly violate the ban and share with North Korea instructions on how to circumvent sanctions with cryptocurrencies. He faces up to 20 years.
Prosecutors demanded custody on July 9, claiming that Griffith had violated bail, which severely limited his use of the Internet. He reportedly joined Coinbase to contact the exchange and request the removal of account security features.
“I’m going to need to remove two-factor authentication because the FBI removed my device.”
Advocates, on the other hand, claimed that the attempt to access Coinbas was made in consultation with his lawyer.
Griffith was indicted and charged on January 7, 2020, after being arrested in November 2019 for conspiracy to violate international law on emergency economic forces. He was initially denied bail, but was eventually given a $ 1 million bond order at the end of December 2019.
Federal officials believe it helped North Korea launder dirty money with cryptocurrencies to avoid U.S. sanctions. Everything was supposed to take place in April 2019 at a blockchain conference in Pyongyang, where Griffith did not receive permission to travel from the US Department of Justice. However, according to court documents, he obtained a visa from the UN for this North Korean mission and allegedly presented at the conference only well-known information about the blockchain, which can also be found on the Internet.
Thus, in October 2020, Griffith filed a motion to dismiss the conspiracy charges, arguing that his presentation at the April 2019 conference consisted of widely available public information and therefore did not provide a “service” to North Korean officials. The following month, however, lawyers representing the US government called the argument “absurd.”
According to the US, North Korea uses finance and information on various technologies to build nuclear weapons, which are a threat to the world. For this reason, any attempt by a U.S. citizen to assist an opponent of the United States in any way is described as serious.