Virgil Griffith, a prominent crypto expert and former Ethereum developer has been sentenced to serve 63 months in jail for helping North Korea evade US sanctions. Griffith had taken a trip to North Korea in April 2019 where he delivered a keynote that included ways through which cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech can be used to launder money and evade sanctions.
Virgil Griffith To Serve 63 Months In Jail
Former Ethereum Dev has been sentenced to serve 63 months, followed by a $100,000 fine for violating international sanctions against North Korea.
Griffith was accused of helping North Koreans utilize crypto and blockchain tech to evade sanctions imposed on it by the United States. In April 2019, Griffith had taken a trip to North Korea to attend a crypto conference where he spoke about blockchain tech and its use cases when it comes to evading sanctions and money laundering, which landed him in troubled waters.
Griffith had pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to violate international sanctions against North Korea. Although the crime carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, Griffith’s plea with federal prosecutors had helped his sentence to be reduced to a 63 to 78 month jail time, which roughly means serving 5 to 6.5 years in prison.
As per a Reuters report, North Korea has been funding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs from revenue acquired via cyber attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges. A Chainalysis report has also reiterated a similar statement, adding that the North Korean hackers have stolen $400 million worth of crypto in 2021.