Ethereum developer rearrested for trying to check crypto account
Virgil Griffith, an Ethereum developer that was arrested in 2019 for allegedly trying to help North Korea evade U.S. sanctions, has been rearrested for violating his bail terms.
A $1 million bail bond was issued on Griffith after he was initially denied bail. Part of his bail condition was that he would remain under house arrest in Alabama and would not access his crypto accounts.
Apparently, the Ethereum Foundation researcher could not help but check his crypto wallets. And now, the U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to revoke Griffith’s bail after he tried to access his crypto account on Coinbase via a third party – his mother.
The remand order was given by U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.
Griffith is scheduled to be tried on September 21stand could spend the next two months in custody before his trial.
He was earlier charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Power Act and could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Federal authorities believe he helped North Korea use cryptocurrencies to launder money in order to avoid U.S. sanctions; this was after a conference in Pyongyang in April 2019.
Griffith’s attorney argued that it was all a misunderstanding, and Griffith who is a Ph.D. holder in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology would not really need his mum to access his accounts.