Tornado Cash Founder Faces DOJ Wrath for Money Laundering
- US Department of Justice takes action against Tornado Cash founders Roman Storm and Roman Semenov. Charges include money laundering conspiracy, sanctions violation, and unlicensed money transfer operations.
- Allegedly facilitated over $1 billion in money laundering transactions and funneled hundreds of millions for Lazarus cybercrime group from North Korea.
- Roman Storm arrested, court appearance scheduled. Roman Semenov on OFAC’s special investigation list, assets under scrutiny.
US Department of Justice has taken legal action against the founders of Tornado Cash.
The department has officially charged Roman Storm and Roman Semenov with a range of offenses, including conspiracy to launder money, violating sanctions, and operating an unlicensed money-transfer business.
The indictment alleges that Storm and Semenov played instrumental roles in the creation, operation, and promotion of Tornado Cash, a service that enables the mixing of cryptocurrency transactions to enhance privacy. However, the indictment claims that the duo’s activities went far beyond privacy enhancement, as they purportedly facilitated over $1 billion in money laundering transactions and laundered hundreds of millions of dollars for the Lazarus cybercrime organization Group of North Korea.
Roman Storm has already been apprehended in Washington State and is scheduled to make an appearance in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. The charges levied against him are serious and encompass a range of financial and criminal violations.
Roman Semenov remains at large, with no news of his arrest. Notably, Semenov has been placed on the special investigation list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury. This listing implies that his assets are subject to investigation and possible freezing.
The case has caught the attention of the cryptocurrency community, regulatory bodies, and cybersecurity experts. It underscores the ongoing concerns surrounding the potential misuse of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities, including money laundering and funding cybercrime.
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