The Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith got sentenced to five years in prison for his trip to North Korea and conspiring with their people to evade sanctions via crypto as we reported previously in our Ethereum news.
Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith got sentenced to 63 months in prison and was charged with conspiracy to help North Koreans evade US Sanctions via crypto. Griffith was arrested after a trip to North Korea in 2019 but today he got sentenced to 5 years in prison and a fine of $100,000. Griffith traveled to Pyongyang to talk about ETH and other cryptocurrencies during a blockchain conference. He was arrested upon his arrival and charged with conspiracy to violate The International Emergency Economic Powers At but also accused of helping North Koreans learn how to use crypto and avoid sanctions.
The developer traveled to North Korea without permission from the US government while the US Attorney Geoffrey S Berman alleged that Griffith provided highly technical information to North Korea and this information could likely be used to help the country launder money and evade sanctions. Griffith pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy in 2021i n a deal with the federal prosecutors. At over five years, his sentence was at the low end of the guidelines.
At the sentencing, the accused said that he “Genuinely, arrogantly and erroneously” though he knew better and added:
“Everyone warned me. This was a terrible idea.”
The Daily Beast Reporter Jose Pagliery noted that the US District Judge P. Kevin Castel seemed to be quite irritated when handing down the sentence. Castel said that Griffith intentionally sought to help the North Koreans use crypto and evade sanctions:
“[There’s] a narrative that Virgil Griffith is a kind and gentle man who merely wanted to speak at a conference … and was persecuted for his actions. Those are not the facts. That’s not what happened. Virgil Griffith hoped to come home … a crypto hero.”
Griffith worked as a research scientist at the Ethereum Foundation and got support from plenty of notable figures in the crypto industry, including Vitalik Buterin. As earlier reported, In the meantime, a petition to release Griffith from prison generated only 516 signatures in two years. As previously reported, After being denied bail, Griffith was granted a bond order for $1 million at the end of December 2019.