U.S. developer Virgil Griffith was on Tuesday sentenced to five years and three months in prison for providing consulting services to North Korea on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.
Griffith was a developer and research scientist Ethereum Foundation. In 2019, he traveled to Pyongyang to attend the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, despite being denied travel by the US State Department. It should be noted that U.S. citizens have been banned from traveling to North Korea since 2017, with special permits taking place after a review by the U.S. government.
However, the developer is facing trial for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) Executive Order 13466, which prohibits the export of goods, services or technology to North Korea without permission from the Foreign Asset Control Office. An agency under the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Griffiths, in addition to attending the event, allegedly leaked information about how crypto technology could be used to launder money and circumvent US sanctions. He pleaded guilty in New York’s Southern District in September last year.
In addition to serving five years and three months in prison, Virgil Griffith will spend three more years on probation after being released from prison.
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