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New York:


Tornado Cash Developer Sentenced to 64 Months in Prison

The developer was found guilty of laundering $1.2 billion worth of crypto through Tornado Cash.

Prison cell

Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev has been sentenced to 64 months (five years and four months) in prison after a Dutch judge convicted him of money laundering through Tornado Cash. 

Pertsev Gets 64 Months Jail Term 

The 64-month jail term is what federal prosecutors asked for about two months ago. 

In an unsealed indictment, prosecutors stated that between July 9, 2019, and August 10, 2022, the developer “made a habit of committing money laundering” through Tornado.

Prosecutors listed around 36 Illicit decentralized protocol transactions to the crypto mixing tool. These include 175 ETH laundered from the $625 million worth of crypto stolen from Axie Infinity’s Ronin bridge. North Korea’s Lazarus group was linked to this attack. Other illicit transactions include crypto assets exploited from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, including Harmony and Nomad Bridge.

The Laundering Claims

While they didn’t mention that Pertsev directly committed these laundering activities, prosecutors stated that he should have at least suspected and prevented the flow of the transactions on Tornado. 

Pertsev’s defense countered these claims, stating that Tornado is open source and automated and that his client shouldn’t be held accountable for users. However, the presiding judge rejected his argument.

Pertsev was first arrested in the Netherlands in August 2022. The arrest occurred a few days after the U.S. blacklisted Tornado for aiding the laundering of $7 billion worth of crypto, including $455 million stolen by Lazarus Group.

Since his arrest, he has been detained for eight months. The eight months will be reduced from his sentence, meaning he has 56 months (four and a half years) left to spend in jail.

Experts believe that this verdict could play a major role in the trials of the two other Tornado Cash developers, Roman Storm and Roman Semenov, and set a precedent for similar cases in the future. Storm was arrested in the U.S. last year, while Semenov has yet to be arrested.

Lucky Ebosele

Lucky Ebosele is an avid writer with over two years of experience covering cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech. He is constantly researching the latest trends and developments in the space. Away from crypto, he loves everything football.