Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith violated the terms of bail, allegedly accessing crypto account
According to a report from Inner City Press, Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was taken into custody after a federal judge found he had breached the terms of his bail.
Virgil Griffith was surrounded by two US Marshals and took off his belt before being taken into the holding cell. His lawyer Mr. Klein, when the Press asked, said he had no comment. Virgil’s father, whom Inner City Press previously spoke with, nodded. Podcast soon pic.twitter.com/4qPH0K3nVE
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) July 20, 2021
Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith likely spend two months in jail before his trial in September
Virgil Griffith is a researcher with the Ethereum Foundation. He was charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Federal authorities believe Griffith assisted North Korea’s efforts to launder money via cryptocurrency to avoid U.S. sanctions by presenting at a blockchain conference in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in April 2019.
After being denied bail, Griffith was eventually granted a bond order for $1 million at the end of December 2019. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to revoke Griffith’s bail after he allegedly tried to access his Ethereum assets on Coinbase through a third party – his mother. He was released on bail without access to his accounts and placed under house arrest with his parents in Alabama.
Griffith’s attorney argued that was a misunderstanding. Since the lawyer thinks Griffith is a developer with a Ph.D., he won’t need help from his mother. But, the story is that he allegedly accessed Coinbase to contact the exchange to request the removal of account security functions. He allegedly said: “I’m going to need the two-factor authentication removed as the FBI took my devices away.” And for sure, Judge Castel of the United States Southern District Court didn’t take such a view.
Judge Castel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York was having none of it. He cited the expanding price of Ethereum since the bond was first set as a reason for Griffith to risk touching his accounts. Sensing a potential flight risk, Castel ordered Griffith taken into custody.
If convicted of the maximum penalty, Griffith faces up to 20 years in prison.
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