Five years in prison for an American who provided North Korea with cryptocurrency advice

An American, accused of being a hacker and cryptocurrency expert, was sentenced in New York on Tuesday (April 12) to more than five years in prison for providing financial advice to North Korea so that it escapes international sanctions . Virgil Griffith, 39, pleaded “guilty” before the American federal justice which had been prosecuting him since 2019, in order to reduce his sentence which could have been 20 years of criminal imprisonment. Virgil Griffith was sentenced to 63 months in prison, according to a statement from the Manhattan federal court prosecutor.

For prosecutor Damian Williams, “North Korea undoubtedly poses a threat to the national security of our country and the regime (from Pyongyang) has shown time and time again that nothing will stop him from flouting our laws”. According to Damian Williams, convict Virgil Griffith had already “recognized in court to have acted so that North Korea escapes the sanctions, which are in force to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

American justice accused Virgil Griffith of having worked, with others, to provide North Korea with financial services in cryptocurrencies, of having helped the communist regime to escape international sanctions and of having visited South Korea. North for these purposes. Virgil Griffith is an American computer scientist who lived in Singapore and was arrested in November 2019 at Los Angeles airport, after attending a conference in Pyongyang a few months earlier. He had exposed, according to the American justice, his expertise in cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies and the way to “evade punishment” international organizations against the communist regime in Pyongyang.

American justice also accused him of having proposed “programs to facilitate cryptocurrency exchanges between North Korea and South Korea”in violation of international rules. UN resolutions prohibit North Korea, hit by heavy international sanctions for its nuclear and armament programs, from carrying out ballistic missile tests, which did not prevent Pyongyang from carrying out around ten tests of this type since the beginning of the year.

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