Former Ethereum Developer Charged In N. Korea Crypto Case

Two Europeans were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with providing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology services to North Korea illegally.

What Happened: Pro-Pyongyang affinity organization founder Alejandro Cao de Benos of Spain and cryptocurrency businessman Christopher Emms of the United Kingdom were accused of recruiting the recently-sentenced Ethereum ETH/USD developer Virgil Griffith to help North Korea evade U.S. sanctions.

:ast week, Griffith was sentenced to over five years in prison and was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years but was able to strike a plea deal with prosecutors to limit it to approximately five to 6-1/2 years.

Why It Matters: The U.S. has economic sanctions in place against North Korea over the latter’s continued testing of prohibited nuclear-capable missiles.

“The sanctions imposed against North Korea are critical in protecting the security interests of Americans, and we continue to aggressively enforce them with our law enforcement partners both here and abroad,” The U.S. Department of Justice said.

Cao De Benos and Emms are charged with one count of conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and will be penalized with a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.

Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, Ethereum was trading at $3,007, nearly 5% higher in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, its peers such as Bitcoin BTC/USD gained 3.48% and Dogecoin (CRYPTO: Doge) was up 25.25%.