Ethereum Developer Pleads Guilty to Charges of Conspiracy in Helping North Korea

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Ethereum Developer Pleads Guilty to Charges of Conspiracy in Helping North Korea
Ethereum Developer Pleads Guilty to Charges of Conspiracy in Helping North Korea

An Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith, also known as Chinese Vitalik, has been in a two-year legal battle with the US authority for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The former developer has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to help North Korea.

Ethereum Developer Sentence to Take Place Next Year

In a press release by coindesk today, Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was found to violate sanctions against North Korea. The court will carry out the sentence for this case in January 2022, and Griffith could be jailed for up to 78 months.

The Ethereum developer was arrested after presenting how to use crypto assets to avoid international sanctions at the North Korean cryptocurrency conference in November 2019. Although the exact details of the meeting were not disclosed, the allegations are pretty severe. The US authorities alleged that Griffith also tried to persuade others to attend the meeting. However, he was not permitted to travel to the North Korean capital but participated in the meeting nonetheless.

Griffith has reportedly been warned not to do so in advance. Griffith allegedly attempted to access his Coinbase account in violation of the bail bond, which resulted in his re-arrest in 2020.

Court to Confiscate Proceeds Received From the North Korean Meeting

Griffith’s plea agreement surprised many people as his lawyers prepared for the trial, and the jury closed on Monday morning. However, the agreement on the file appears to have been reached over the weekend. As part of the deal, The Court will also confiscate any proceeds he received from the North Korean meeting.

The agreement also marks the end of the two-year legal battle that the former Ethereum developer has experienced. Griffith’s attorney also requested his transfer from the current Metropolitan Correctional Center to Newark’s Essex County Correctional Facility, citing challenging conditions.

ETH’s recent drop in prices is also due to confusion from Chinese users who called Griffith Vitalik and believed the founder of Ethereum had been arrested, resulting in a sell-off.