Virgil Griffiths participated in North Korea’s efforts to launder money through cryptocurrencies, prosecutors say.
An Ethereum developer is back behind bars after violating the terms of his bail by allegedly accessing his Coinbase account.
Virgil Griffiths is accused of attempting to access Ether assets back in May, but he had been warned not to do so during his time under house arrest in Alabama.
The Ethereum Foundation researcher has been charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Powers Act.
Prosecutors claim that he participated in North Korea’s efforts to launder money through cryptocurrencies in a bid to sidestep U.S. sanctions.
Griffiths was among those who presented at a blockchain conference in Pyongyang back in 2019.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has claimed that he tried to access ETH assets through his mother, but a lawyer representing Griffiths said this was a misunderstanding and that he wouldn’t have needed such assistance.
But the judge questioned this — and said Griffiths may have been tempted to violate the terms of his bail because of how the value of ETH has risen in recent months.
Judge Castel subsequently ordered him to be taken into custody on the basis that he is a potential flight risk.
Griffiths could face up to 20 years behind bars if he is convicted, and his trial is due to begin on Sept. 21.
In the past, he has sought to have the charges dismissed on the basis that he was providing publicly available information rather than providing a service to the secluded state.