• Two developers working on the Ethereum network-based privacy protocol Tornado Cash have been charged with money laundering and sanctions violations.
• The US Department of Justice claims that the protocol has been used to launder over $1 billion in funds, including hundreds of millions for North Korea’s notorious hacking cartel the Lazarus Group.
• Roman Storm and Roman Semenov are accused of knowingly facilitating money laundering and avoiding transaction monitoring or anti-money laundering features.
Two Developers Charged With Money Laundering and Sanctions Violations
Two developers who worked on Tornado Cash, an Ethereum network-based privacy protocol designed to obfuscate the link between sending and receiving addresses, are being charged by the US Depart of Justice. Developers Roman Storm and Roman Semenov are both being charged with money laundering and sanctions violations, owing to their work on the protocol.
Tornado Cash Sanctioned By US Government
Tornado Cash was first sanctioned by the US government in 2022, with another of the protocol’s co-founders Alexey Pertsev getting arrested in Amsterdam almost immediately afterwards . As per the DoJ, Tornado Cash has been used to launder billions in funds, including hundreds of millions for North Korea’s notorious hacking cartel the Lazarus Group . Roman Storm has already been arrested, while Semenov has been sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Storm & Semenov Knowingly Facilitated Money Laundering
In a statement ,the DoJ accused Storm and Semenov of knowingly facilitating money laundering. “While publicly claiming to offer a technically sophisticated privacy service, Storm and Semenov in fact knew that they were helping hackers and fraudsters conceal the fruits of their crimes,” US Attorney Damien Williams said in the statement. The DoJ goes on to claim that Storm and Semenov maintained control over Tornado Cash