US authorities accuse two foreigners of colluding to help North KoreaMathew Chavez
Spanish citizen Alejandro Cao de Benos and British citizen Christopher Emms have become defendants in a case involving former Ethereum Foundation researcher Virgil Griffith. About it says in a press release from the US Department of Justice.
The foreigners allegedly colluded with the developer to provide the North Korean authorities with information about the possibilities of using cryptocurrency to circumvent sanctions.
According to the agency, 47-year-old Cao de Benos and 30-year-old Emms were the organizers of the blockchain conference in Pyongyang. They hired Griffith as a cryptocurrency expert and helped him attend an event in April 2019.
Griffith arrested in November of the same year. Later to him charged conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
In January 2020, the developer released secured by his sister’s and parents’ real estate worth $1 million, in 2021 his returned to custody.
In September 2021 Griffith pleaded guilty. In April 2022 it sentenced to 63 months in prison and a $100,000 fine.
The Justice Department said Cao de Benos and Emms “took action” to cover up their activities and Griffith’s role. They were charged with conspiring to circumvent US sanctions.
The maximum penalty under this article is 20 years in prison. According to a press release, the defendants are still at large.
Recall that in April, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency, the FBI and the US Treasury warned about targeting North Korean hackers on the cryptocurrency industry.
According to a Chainalysis report, in 2021, North Korean cybercriminals carried out at least seven attacks on cryptocurrency platforms, during which stole digital assets worth about $400 million.
Earlier, the UN stated that North Korea finances development of nuclear programs through attacks on bitcoin exchanges.