The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday the indictment of two Europeans for allegedly collaborating with Virgil Griffith, a cryptocurrency researcher who was recently sentenced to prison for providing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology services to North Korea, Reuters reported.
The two defendants are Alejandro Cao de Benos from Spain, who founded a pro-Pyongyang affinity organization, and Christopher Emms, a British cryptocurrency investor.
Prosecutors from the U.S. allege Emms and Alejandro Cao de Benos instigated Griffith to disseminate blockchain and cryptocurrency technology to North Korean government officials and academic professors at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in April 2019 and teach them how to use the technology to evade sanctions and launder money.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the move was “designed to deter North Korea’s hostile nuclear ambitions and protect U.S. security interests.”
American cryptocurrency researcher Virgil Griffith has been convicted guilty and was sentenced to 5-1/4 years in prison on April 12.
Cao de Benos and Emms could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted, but both parties are at large and missing currently.
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