US citizen faces almost seven years in jail for helping North Korea get into the crypto...

midian182

Posts: 7,171   +65
Staff member
In brief: A Singapore-based US citizen has pleaded guilty to advising North Korea on cryptocurrencies. Virgil Griffith, an Ethereum Foundation scientist, admitted to one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and faces between 63 months and 78 months behind bars when sentenced on January 18.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) writes that in 2018, Griffith hatched plans to provide services to individuals in North Korea by developing and funding cryptocurrency infrastructure in the hermit kingdom. The DoJ writes that he knew this could help the country avoid US sanctions.

Griffith traveled to North Korea in 2019 to attend a crypto and blockchain conference, despite the US Department of State denying him permission to travel as it violated Treasury bans on "exporting any goods, services, or technology."

The DoJ alleges that while there, Griffith "provided instruction on how the DPRK could use blockchain and cryptocurrency technology to launder money and evade sanctions" and "how blockchain technology such as 'smart contracts' could be used to benefit the DPRK, including in nuclear weapons negotiations with the United States." He also announced plans to renounce his US citizenship, with the goal to "purchase" citizenship in another country.

It's alleged that Griffith attempted to recruit other US citizens, who would have traveled to North Korea and provided similar crypto services. He was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in November 2019.

Griffith, who has a doctorate in theoretical neuroscience from the California Institute of Technology, pleaded guilty before his trial. Prosecutors agreed to seek a punishment in the range of 63 months to 78 months as part of the deal, helping him avoid the maximum 20-year sentence.

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VitalyT

Posts: 5,956   +6,227
An educated idi0t gets his perseverance in finding trouble finally rewarded, who knew? He is now looking to "buy" a new citizenship wherever he hasn't screwed up yet.

Oh mercy, this made my day. He must be also a get-stupid champ on TikTok.
 

umbala

Posts: 413   +587
An educated idi0t gets his perseverance in finding trouble finally rewarded, who knew? He is now looking to "buy" a new citizenship wherever he hasn't screwed up yet.

Oh mercy, this made my day. He must be also a get-stupid champ on TikTok.
He won't be looking to "buy" anything in prison. In fact, by the looks of it, he'll be used as (non-crypto) currency in jail. He probably won't be grinning much, but will be doing a lot of grimacing.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 570   +434
Std USA DOJ terror tactics - never had a chance - so guilty plea was probably best option .

Why not include lots of other fantastic claims as to all the things the NORKs could use this for . End of day - got him on the basic charge.
This charge is entirely at the discretion of the DOJ - it has been abused multiple times - the biggest perpetrator is the USA govt itself . Some people have had all assets seized for the most mundane things - the the USA govt were selling better stuff anyway .
The same BS china does in tit for tat .
Always find watergate hilarious - oh how bad - not like how American Airlines started for an illegal war in Cambodia/Laos running drugs . Or the hero Oliver North aiding and abetting Iran etc to fund the Contras .
The USA has armed lots of people it has fought against .
Anyway in 2019 USA and NK were the bestest of friends - the bestest deal ever had been signed .
And those bestest Russkies were paying good bounties .
Any cop in the USA can take your greenbacks from you under the suspicious of money laundering to split for their dept use and send some to federal govt .
Seems strange anyway - isn't all the info about Blockchains mainly in the public domain