ETH Developer Back in Jail After Allegedly Checking Crypto account

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ETH Developer Back in Jail After Allegedly Checking Crypto account
ETH Developer Back in Jail After Allegedly Checking Crypto account

Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith broke bail terms and was arrested after allegedly accessing his cryptocurrency account.

Virgil Griffith Pre-trial Detention After Access Crypto Wallet

U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel reportedly issued pre-trial detention after Griffith attempted to access the Ethereum assets held by Coinbase in May.

Ethereum Foundation researchers could go to jail for the next two months. He is due to be tried on September 21 for conspiracy to violate sanctions against North Korea and face up to 20 years in prison.

According to Law360, Judge Castell’s main concern is the risk of escape as the value of Griffith’s assets surged to the $ 1 million marks, which may have influenced his decision to check his wallet, the judge said.

Prosecutors filed for pre-trial detention on July 9, claiming Griffith had breached bail clauses that severely restricted his internet use. He reportedly visited Coinbase to contact the exchange and request the removal of account security features. According to reports, “If the FBI takes my device, I’ll have to delete (two-factor authentication).”

The defense attorney alleged he tried to visit Coinbase after consulting his attorney, adding that his family in Alabama tried on his behalf.

Reason for Griffith Earlier Arrest

After Griffith was arrested in November 2019 for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, he was charged and prosecuted on January 7, 2020. He was initially denied bail but was eventually given $1 million bails in late December 2019.

Federal authorities believe that after attending a blockchain conference in Pyongyang in April 2019, he helped North Korea use cryptocurrencies for money laundering in order to avoid US sanctions.

In October 2020, Griffith filed a motion to deny the collusion allegations, claiming that his April 2019 conference speech contained generally available public information and that he was not offering “services” to North Korean officials. The following month, US government lawyers called the argument “absurd”.