TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023

US cryptocurrency expert jailed for helping North Korea evade sanctions

US cryptocurrency expert jailed for helping North Korea evade sanctions

A former US researcher at a cryptocurrency group has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for conspiring to help North Korea evade US sanctions using cryptocurrency.
Virgil Griffith had earlier pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate US law.

He formerly worked for the Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit organisation focused on the technology behind the cryptocurrency ether.

The sentence was the minimum amount of prison time sought by prosecutors.

He was also fined $100,000 (£76,864). The 39-year-old had been facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1m fine.

His lawyer said in a statement that while the sentence was disappointing, the judge "acknowledged Virgil's commitment to moving forward with his life productively, and that he is a talented person who has a lot to contribute".

US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement that "justice has been served".

In September, Griffith pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the US International Emergency Economic Powers Act by travelling to North Korea's capital Pyongyang to give a presentation on blockchain technology.

According to prosecutors, Griffith, who has a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology, travelled to North Korea via China in April 2019 to speak at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, despite being denied permission by the US Department of State to go.

Prosecutors said Griffith understood the information could be used to evade sanctions that Washington had imposed on North Korea over its development of nuclear weapons.

"The most important feature of blockchains is that they are open. And the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] can't be kept out no matter what the USA or the UN says," Griffith said during the presentation, according to prosecutors.

In September, the US Department of Justice said he had "jeopardised the national security of the United States" by undermining sanctions.

The Ethereum Foundation said at the time of Griffith's arrest that it had not approved or supported his travel to North Korea.
Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
Close
0:00
0:00
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
×