One of the founders of crypto mixer Tornado Cash has been released on bail after being charged with laundering $1 billion by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to defense attorney Brian Klein, Roman Storm, one of the founders of the sanctioned crypto mixer, has been released on bail.
However, according to Klein, the implications of the prosecutors’ case against his client are far-reaching and could impact all software developers as Storm is being charged with money laundering for helping develop Tornado Cash rather than for laundering money himself.
“Pleased to share that my client Roman Storm is already out on bail, although I remain very disappointed that the prosecutors charged him because he helped develop software – their novel legal theory has dangerous implications for all software developers.”
According to a press release from the DOJ, Storm, alongside Roman Semenov, another Tornado Cash founder, was charged with conspiracy to help North Korean hacking group Lazarus launder money earlier this week.
As stated by Attorney General Merrick Garland in the press release,
“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants operated a $1 billion scheme designed to help other criminals launder and conceal funds using cryptocurrency, including by laundering hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of a state-sponsored North Korean cybercrime group sanctioned by the U.S. government.
These charges should serve as yet another warning to those who think they can turn to cryptocurrency to conceal their crimes and hide their identities, including cryptocurrency mixers: it does not matter how sophisticated your scheme is or how many attempts you have made to anonymize yourself, the DOJ you accountable for your crimes.”
Tornado Cash, an Ethereum-based (ETH) coin mixing system that helps users conceal their digital assets, was sanctioned by the US in 2022 for national security purposes.
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