2 Europeans Charged With Conspiracy in Virgil Griffith's North Korea Crypto Sanctions Case

Earlier this month, Griffith, an Ethereum developer, was sentenced to five years in prison for helping North Korea evade sanctions with crypto.

AccessTimeIconApr 25, 2022 at 5:04 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:24 p.m. UTC

Federal prosecutors on Monday announced charges against two Europeans who allegedly conspired with Virgil Griffith to help North Korea use crypto to evade sanctions.

Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spainard, and British citizen Christopher Emms provided information about cryptocurrency to attendees of the 2019 Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, according to a press release from the U.S. attorney's office of the Southern District of New York.

The charges follow Ethereum developer Griffith’s sentencing to five years in prison earlier this month and come as the U.S. government is paying more attention to North Korea's brazen alleged hacks of crypto projects worldwide.

“The United States will not allow the North Korean regime to use cryptocurrency to evade global sanctions designed to thwart its goals of nuclear proliferation and regional destabilization,” Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen said in the press release.

The Department of Justice didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


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Cam Thompson is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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