Report: Tornado Cash Co-Founder Enters Not Guilty Plea for Money Laundering and Related Allegations

Report: Tornado Cash Co-Founder Enters Not Guilty Plea for Money Laundering and Related Allegations

Developer Denies Charges of Money Laundering

As a cryptocurrency reader, you should know that Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm has entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ in response to charges of money laundering exceeding $1 billion. These charges include states tied to a cybercrime group associated with the North Korean Government and violations of United States sanctions.

Storm, a naturalized United States citizen and co- founder of the controversial coin mixer, was released on a $2 Billion bond shortly after his arrest in August.

Not Guilty Plea Entered by Developer

In an update by Inner City Press, it was reported that Storm pleaded “not guilty” before United States District Judge Katherine Polk Failla in Manhattan. The charges against him include conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit sanctions violations, and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Storm’s alleged co-conspirator and fellow developer, Roman Semenov, likewise faces indictment.

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If convicted, both Storm and Semenov could potentially face up to 20 years in prison.

The Tornado Cash developers have faced criticism from authorities, with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) highlighting the coin mixer’s engagement in facilitating the laundering of funds for criminal actors since its establishment in 2019. This includes the obfuscation of hundreds of millions of dollars in digital assets stolen by North Korea’s Lazarus Group.

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Prosecutors have likewise revealed that Tornado Cash failed to implement any know-your-customer (KYC) or anti-money-laundering (AML) measures, regardless of receiving multiple complaints from hacking victims.

Uncertain Future for Tornado Cash Co-Founders

Following his bail, Storm’s travel has been significantly restricted, limiting him to specific areas in New York, New Jersey, Washington, and California. He is still below house arrest at his Washington residence and is subject to regular drug testing. In addition, Storm is prohibited from possessing firearms and contacting any co-defendants, witnesses, or alleged victims.

In the meantime, Semenov remains at large and has recently been added to the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals list of sanctioned individuals and companies.

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The third co- founder of Tornado Cash, Alexey Pertsev, was arrested by Dutch authorities on similar charges related to money laundering with the Lazarus Group. He was released in April 2023, pending trial, and is as of now under electronic monitoring at his residence.

Hot Take

The legal battle surrounding the Tornado Cash developers outlines the ongoing need for robust regulatory measures within the digital currency industry. As digital currencies continue to win popularity, it is critical for developers and platforms to prioritize compliance with anti-money laundering and know-your-customer protocols. This case serves as a reminder that authorities are closely monitoring digital currency activities and will take action against those involved in illicit practices. As a cryptocurrency reader, it’s critical to stay notified about the legal implications and probable dangers associated with numerous cryptocurrency projects.

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Owen Patter is a distinguished crypto analyst, accomplished researcher, and skilled editor, leaving a notable imprint on the cryptocurrency landscape. As a proficient crypto analyst and researcher, Owen delves into the intricate realms of digital assets, offering insights that resonate with a diverse audience. His analytical acuity is harmoniously paired with adept editorial skills, allowing him to transform complex crypto information into easily comprehensible content.

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