Former Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Pleads for Leniency in Punishment

Last Updated:
  • Former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith seeks leniency in sanctions violation sentence.
  • Griffith’s plea based on revised sentencing guidelines and expression of remorse for aiding North Korea.
  • Griffith gave a lecture in North Korea on blockchain technology and violated US sanctions against the country

Recently, former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith has submitted a motion pleading for leniency in his sanctions violation sentence. Griffith’s attorney, Glen Garrett McGorty, representing the client, made the plea to Judge Kevin Castel in April 2024.

The motion seeks a reduction in Griffith’s prison term in light of recent amendments to U.S. sentencing guidelines.

Griffith had originally been sentenced to 63 months in prison and fined $100,000 after pleading guilty to charges related to violating U.S. sanctions against North Korea. Now, his legal team is asking for a provision for a two point reduction in offence level for Griffith’s status as a zero-point offender. 

Griffith had admitted to aiding North Korea in understanding and utilizing blockchain technology deemed a breach of international sanctions. 

Griffith quoted,

Watching Ukraine sanctions has shown me their value. I have been cured of my stubborn arrogance, and my obsession with North Korea. My career has been damaged. I’m sorry.

Griffith’s remorseful plea forms the basis for a reduced sentence. In September 2022, Griffith pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiring to violate international sanctions against North Korea. He was arrested in November 2019, after delivering a speech at a cryptocurrency conference in Pyongyang in April of that year. 

In a later development, the US Department of Justice charged Alejandro Cao de Benos, the founder of a pro-Pyongyang affinity organisation, in 2022. The charge was a result of his alleged involvement with crypto researcher Virgil Griffith to illegally offer crypto and blockchain technology services to North Korea. In 2022, Griffith was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for his role in the conspiracy.

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is for informational and educational purposes only. The article does not constitute financial advice or advice of any kind. Coin Edition is not responsible for any losses incurred as a result of the utilization of content, products, or services mentioned. Readers are advised to exercise caution before taking any action related to the company.