Cryptocurrency News Today: U.S. Says Cryptocurrency Expert Violated North Korea Sanctions
(NEW YORK) — Federal prosecutors have charged a Cryptocurrency expert with violating economic sanctions against North Korea by presenting at a conference there this year after the U.S. government denied his request to travel to Pyongyang.
Virgil Griffith, 36, was expected to appear in federal court Friday in Los Angeles, a day after he was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport.
Griffith is an American citizen but lives in Singapore. Messages were sent to Griffith’s defense attorney seeking comment.
Federal prosecutors said Griffith secured a visa through “a (North Korean) diplomatic mission facility” in Manhattan for 100 euros and then traveled to the country through China in April.
A request for comment was sent to North Korea’s United Nations mission in New York.
At the conference, Griffith talked about how North Korea could use Cryptocurrency to “achieve independence from the global banking system,” according to a criminal complaint.
The conference was attended by 100 people, prosecutors said, including several who appeared to work for the North Korean government.
The criminal complaint says Griffith showed the FBI photographs of himself in North Korea and provided agents with propaganda from the country.
“Griffith announced his intention to renounce his U.S. citizenship and began researching how to purchase citizenship from other countries,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said in a news release.
Prosecutors say another person involved in the alleged conspiracy was to be brought to New York and arrested. That person is not named in the criminal complaint against Griffith.
The U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman,