Ethereum dev Virgil Griffith back in jail after checking $1M Coinbase account

Indicted Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith is back to jail after allegedly breaching bail conditions by checking his Coinbase balance.

Indicted Ethereum Foundation developer Virgil Griffith is headed back to jail to await another day in court after a judge ruled he breached bail conditions by accessing his Coinbase account, reports Law360.

Griffith was arrested and charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in November 2019 after he travelled to North Korea to give a talk on blockchain and crypto.

As part of his bond deal, Griffith’s internet use was heavily restricted. However, in May Griffith allegedly attempted to access his ETH held by Coinbase, which now reportedly totals about $1 million.

According to District Judge P. Kevin Castel, the significant hike in the value of Griffith’s Ether may be what prompted him to check his account.

Ethereum is up 1,200% since Griffith’s arrest in November 2019.

Griffith is now considered an increased flight risk.

Griffith ignored the US

The Ethereum Foundation dev was arrested over a year ago after US authorities claimed the then-36-year-old’s conference presentation contained info that North Korea could leverage to launder money and skirt sanctions.

  • The IEEPA bars US citizens from exporting goods, services, or tech to North Korea without express permission from the Treasury.
  • Griffith was denied permission to travel to North Korea by the State Department but decided to attend the DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference anyway.
  • North Korea is reportedly keen to find ways to get around sanctions imposed by what it regards as a US-led financial system.
Virgil Griffith was a prominent Ethereum Foundation developer before the troubles.

[Read more: North Korean group Lazarus behind $70M crypto exchange attacks, report]

Despite Griffith claiming that his talk contained information already publicly available, Griffith faces trial in September where he could be looking at up to 20 years in prison.

In his defence, Griffith claims family in Alabama accessed the account at his request with the intention to remove two-factor authentication, which had become a problem after the FBI confiscated his devices.

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