US Authorities Detain and Charge Tornado Cash Founders Over Alleged Violations

A significant turn of events has unfolded in the Tornado Cash saga as the founders of the crypto mixer, Roman Storm and Roman Semenov, find themselves officially charged and arrested by the United States government. The charges levied against them include allegations of money laundering exceeding $1 billion and violations of sanctions regulations.

Today marked the unsealing of the indictment by the US Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, revealing the formal charges. Following this development, both Tornado Cash developers were taken into custody by US authorities, underscoring the gravity of the situation.

Tornado Cash Founders Confront Money Laundering and Sanctions Violation Allegations The unfolding narrative around the Tornado Cash crypto mixer has taken a significant twist with the formal charges and subsequent arrests of its founders by the US government. Roman Storm and Roman Semenov now face accusations that encompass money laundering and sanctions violations, as outlined in an indictment unveiled today.

A distinct detail within the charges is the accusation of “conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business” that has been leveled against the founders. The indictment also asserts that Tornado Cash was involved in laundering significant sums of money on behalf of the Lazarus Group, a North Korean cybercrime organization subjected to sanctions.

The arrests of both individuals followed closely after the announcement of these charges. It’s worth noting that Tornado Cash had previously been sanctioned by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) due to allegations of facilitating money laundering by the Lazarus Group. This context sets the stage for the current charges and arrests.

Damien Williams, the US Attorney, commented on the case, emphasizing that Tornado Cash knowingly aided in money laundering activities. Williams highlighted that the founders were fully aware that they were enabling hackers and fraudsters in concealing their ill-gotten gains. Furthermore, Williams stressed that the utilization of digital assets for money laundering does not diminish the severity of the underlying crimes.

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