Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Remanded In Custody For Violating Bail Terms By Accessing Coinbase Wallet

Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Remanded In Custody For Violating Bail Terms By Accessing Coinbase Wallet

Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith has been remanded in custody. He’s said to have reportedly violated the terms of his bail, per reports from Inner City Press. Griffith was granted bail in December 2019.

Griffith May Be In Jail Until His Trial In September

The remand order was given after a federal judge found out that he had violated the terms of his bail by seeking access to his Ethereum assets held by exchange Coinbase in May 2021.

Griffith, a former researcher with the Ethereum Foundation, will likely spend the next two months in jail as he is scheduled to be tried on September 21. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

The developer is being charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Griffith is said to have allegedly assisted North Korea in laundering money through cryptocurrency in order to avoid US sanctions. The developer was arrested in November 2019.

Although he was denied bail initially, he was finally granted a bond order for $1 million in December 2019. Griffith’s father reportedly offered his house worth $835,000 as security for bond. His sister also secured the bond with her property.

The developer was granted bail on the condition that he would not access his accounts and would remain under house arrest with his parents in Alabama.

However, he is said to have violated these bail terms when he tried to access his cryptocurrency account by contacting Coinbase to request the removal of account security functions.

Although Griffith’s lawyers claimed the attempt to access the account on Coinbase was made by proxy. The lawyers argue that his family only contacted Coinbase to ascertain if the assets in Griffith’s account could cover his legal fees. The lawyers said,

“Given the impending trial date, Mr. Griffith may need to sell certain assets to fund his legal defense…In connection with their strategy to assess and access necessary resources to fund his defense, and after consulting counsel, his mother made an online request to access a US-based and regulated cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase…”

US District Judge P. Kevin Castel said Griffith’s attempt to access the assets suggested a flight risk since the assets Griffith held had surged in value into the $1 million range.

Virgil Griffith’s Failed Attempt To Dismiss Case

Griffith had previously filed a motion to dismiss the conspiracy charges in October 2020. He claimed that his April 2019 conference presentation consisted of public information that was widely available. Therefore he did not provide a service to North Korean officials. This argument was not accepted as the US government labeled the statement as absurd.

Griffith’s case also gained support from the Crypto community, who championed his release. Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin had defended and declared his solidarity with Virgil Griffith last year. He said that Griffith didn’t do any wrong as he only tutored in his presentation.

Read Original/a>
Author: Jimmy Aki

Virgil Griffith, ETH Dev Indicted by A Grand Jury For Violating IEEPA During North Korea Event

Virgil Griffith, an Ethereum Foundation Researcher is about to be indicted by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Court records indicate that he was indicted by a grand jury on 7th January 2020. According to the charge sheet, Mr. Griffith is facing charges related to a conspiracy to violate the IEEPA (International Emergency Economic Powers Act).

The federal law was introduced by the United States federal government in 1977. It’s a law that provides the president with sweeping powers to regulate global trade in the event of a national emergency, more so, an emergency that is coming from outside the country’s borders. Virgil is being accused of willfully and knowingly attempting to violate the sanctions that have been placed against the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).

Virgil Griffith’s Arrest

His arrest was executed in late 2019 where he was charged with giving a presentation on how North Koreans can use cryptocurrency and other digital assets, including the blockchain infrastructure to bypass the restrictions placed on the country by global powerhouses. Prosecutors believe that Virgil did so together with the help of others.

A second party is expected to be arrested and arraigned in the Southern District of New York. His charge sheet as presented by the prosecutor’s office reads:

“It was a part and an object of the conspiracy that Virgil Griffith, the defendant, and others known and unknown, would and did provide and cause others to provide services to the DPRK, without first obtaining the required approval.”

The same court is also asking the authorities to seize any property that Virgil may have purchased or earned from the activities he engaged in while in the DPRK. If found guilty, he may spend up to twenty years behind bars.

Varied Sentiments in the Crypto Community

The cryptocurrency community has been divided along the middle with different people expressing different opinions. Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum founder stated in December 2019 that Virgil’s actions were a good indication of the benefits that come with geopolitical open-mindedness.

Credit: Document uploaded by CoinDesk

Read Original/a>
Author: Daniel W