To avoid prison, do not tweet your illegal North Korean visa (via Twitter).
Ethereum,  People

Report: Virgil Griffith gets $1 million bail in North Korean sanctions-busting case

The Ethereum developer was accused of teaching the pariah regime to use blockchain and cryptocurrency to launder money at a conference in April

Virgil Griffith was ordered released on $1 million bail by a federal judge today, according to reports.

The Ethereum developer was arrested on Thanksgiving after speaking at a North Korean conference. He allegedly offered to assist North Korea in using blockchain and cryptocurrency to launder money and violate U.S. sanctions. 

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York vigorously contested the judge’s decision, according to Inner City Press. The Department of Justice may appeal the ruling, it added.

Ethereum expert granted bail for allegedly helping North Korean evade sanctions
Bail may allow Virgil Griffith to visit a barber (via Medium).

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman’s office did not reply to requests for comment.

The bail is secured by liens on the houses of Griffith’s father and sister. Judge Vernon Broderick cited that family connection as one reason for granting the bail, according to Inner City Press. Griffith will live with his parents in Alabama while on bail.

“Laws in this country are not suggestions,” Judge Broderick told Griffith, according to Inner City Press. “Assisting foreign governments with money laundering is illegal.”

The judge reportedly added, “If you were in North Korea, you wouldn’t be having a bond hearing.”

Berman’s office cited a variety of reasons in opposing bail, the media site said. These included cryptocurrency wallets held in Singapore, a planned trip to the Caribbean, text messages about setting up a North Korean money laundering business, and his stated intention to renounce U.S. citizenship. The U.S. Attorney’s office also pointed out that 10 bailed defendants have fled after cutting ankle monitoring bracelets.

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Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson has put some 401k money into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.