DOJ disputes motion to dismiss charges against Tornado Cash co-founder

Prosecutors from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) have objected to a motion to dismiss conspiracy and money laundering charges against Roman Semenov, co-founder of Tornado Cash. The DOJ argues that the defense’s filing contains disputed facts that should be presented to a jury, rather than being dismissed at an early stage. The prosecutors claim that Semenov should be held accountable for the alleged crimes associated with Tornado Cash, which was introduced in 2019 as a crypto-mixing service.

The DOJ alleges that Semenov and Roman Storm, another developer, conspired to commit money laundering and violated sanctions by creating Tornado Cash. They assert that entities such as Lazarus Group, a North Korean group, used the service to launder funds. Storm had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released on a $2 million bond. He is currently restricted from traveling outside certain areas.

In late March, Storm’s attorneys sought to have the indictment against him dismissed, arguing that there were no grounds to charge him. Semenov clarified that he was involved in the design of the code but is not responsible for its use. His legal team argued that Tornado Cash should not be considered a custodial mixing service or a “financial institution.” They claimed that Storm had no control over who used the service, such as the Lazarus Group.

The prosecutors, led by Damian Williams, countered these arguments, stating that Semenov was accountable for operating the crypto mixer and accused him of aiding criminals in anonymity. They criticized the co-founders of Tornado Cash for not making adequate changes to exclude sanctioned addresses. It is worth noting that the U.S. government has been cracking down on crypto-mixing services, as evidenced by the recent arrest of the co-founders of Samourai Wallet, who were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Despite these developments, some industry experts, like Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant, believe that crypto mixing services are not inherently criminal. Ju responded to the arrest of the Samourai Wallet founders by stating that such services can have legitimate uses. The outcome of the legal proceedings against Semenov and Storm will shed further light on the regulatory landscape surrounding crypto mixing services and their potential implications for financial crime.

Aldus Musselwhite

Aldus Musselwhite

11 thoughts on “DOJ disputes motion to dismiss charges against Tornado Cash co-founder

  1. Money laundering is no joke, and this guy needs to be held accountable for his role in it.

  2. The fact that the co-founders of Tornado Cash didn’t make enough changes to exclude sanctioned addresses is definitely a concern. 😬

  3. Let’s hope that the legal proceedings provide clarity and contribute to a stronger regulatory framework for the crypto world! 🌟💼

  4. The prosecutors are really pushing for accountability here. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in court.

  5. It’s important for Semenov and Storm to have their day in court and for all the facts to be thoroughly examined.

  6. These arguments from his legal team are a joke. He’s clearly involved in criminal activity.

  7. The DOJ’s objection to dismissing the charges shows their determination to pursue justice in this case.

  8. It’s interesting to see how different parties interpret the role and responsibilities of Semenov in this case. 🤔🗣️

  9. I appreciate the efforts of the DOJ to hold Semenov accountable for his alleged involvement in money laundering.

  10. No excuses for his actions. He needs to face the consequences for his involvement in this illegal service.

  11. How can he claim he’s not responsible for the code’s use? He should have known what it could be used for!

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