Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith was taken into custody for violating bail conditions. According to the US Attorney’s Office, he tried to access his account on the Coinbase exchange.
how informs Inner City Press, U.S. Marshals have taken into custody Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith. In November 2019, Griffith was arrested for giving a presentation on blockchain in Pyongyang. The US Attorney’s Office believes Griffith violated the Economic Emergency Measures Act (IEEPA) by trying to help North Koreans bypass US sanctions with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
At the end of 2019, Griffith was released on $ 1 million bail, secured by the real estate of his relatives. However, last week the US Attorney’s Office went to court to return Griffith to custody. According to authorities, the developer tried to access his account on the Coinbase exchange through a third party – his mother. He was released on bail on the condition that he would not have access to his accounts and would remain under house arrest at his parents’ home in Alabama.
Griffith’s attorney argues that there was a misunderstanding and that a PhD in computing and neural systems would not need mom’s help to access the exchange account. However, Judge Kevin Castel (Kevin Castel) granted the prosecutor’s request.
In his decision, he cited the significantly increased price of ETH since the release of Griffith on bail as a reason why a developer might be trying to access their accounts on the exchange. According to the judge, the likelihood that Griffith will try to leave the country is too high. In this regard, he approved the prosecutor’s request for the detention of Griffith pending trial.
Griffith’s trial is due in September 2021 – the developer faces up to twenty years in prison if proven guilty.