DOJ Files Motion Challenging  Dismal of Charges against Tornado Cash Developer Roman Storm

In its official publication, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion challenging the plea of Tornado cash developer Roman Storm. Earlier this week, Storm urged the court to dismiss charges of his involvement in the  Tornado Cash. 

Storm was indicted alongside the co-founder of Tornado Cash, Roman Semenov, for conspiracy of money laundering and violation of the International Economic Emergency Powers Act. 

DOJ Files Motion on Tornado Cash Developer

The prosecutors proposed that the two should serve a 20-year imprisonment for engaging in money laundering activities. Also, Storm and Semenov will receive an additional five years imprisonment for operating an unregistered money transmitter. 

In retaliation for the charges, Storm urged the court to dismiss the three charges. He claimed that the allegations were fatally flawed and the court should immediately dismiss the charges. 

Working as the developer of the controversial crypto mixer, Storm claimed that there was nothing he could do to prevent the use of Tornado cash in bypassing the Western sanction. 

The defence team claimed the allegation against Storm lacked substantial evidence. On the other hand, the attorney told the court that Semenov only provided the code design for Tornado Cash but was not responsible for its use.

Tornado Cash Developer Charged for Conspiracy of Money Laundering

Storm’s plea for dismissal of charges challenged vital industry players to support him. Days after the court hearing, the Storm supporters filed an amicus brief urging the court to dismiss charges. 

Reportedly, the Storm supporters raised funds to support the defence team in presenting their client’s interest. Despite efforts to prove Storm’s innocence, the DOJ team examined the motion filed by the defendant. 

In the 111-page motion, the prosecutors argued that Tornado Cash was a profit-chasing entity benefiting Storm and other officials. The prosecutors argued that Storm should answer the three charges against him since Tornado Cash has been a crypto mixer since 2019.

A review of the Tornado Cash operation demonstrated that the platform offers a user interface, a series of relayer networks, and multiple smart contracts. The prosecutors noted that Tornado Cash’s popularity attracted a large following of individuals seeking to conceal their source of income. 

A statement from DOJ prosecutor Damian Williams demonstrated that Storm was responsible for the three charges since he was the mastermind of developing a system with anonymity features. With the regulation changes, the prosecutors blamed Storm and Semenov for failing to assess the compliance level of the Tornado Cash with the US sanctions.

The failure to monitor the Tornado operation encouraged notorious criminals, such as the North Korean Lazarus group, to use the crypto mixer to transfer illicit funds. 

US Regulators Clamping Down Unregistered Crypto Mixers

The prosecutors opposed Storm’s motion, stating that Tornado did not operate as a crypto mixer or meet the regulatory requirements for operating as a financial institution.

In September, Storm pleaded not guilty to the three charges and was released with a $2 million bond. His release subjected Storm to numerous restrictions, such as a travel ban to allow the prosecutors to proceed with their investigations. 

The Tornado Cash case obliged the US law enforcement units to step up and shield the customers from exploitative activities. Earlier last week, the US law enforcers arrested the co-founders of Samourai Wallet for supporting money laundering activities.

The arrest of the Samourai Wallet chief executive, Keonne Rodrique, and the chief technology officer, William Hill, compelled US regulators to send early warnings to non-compliant crypto firms

The two will face 20 years for conspiracy of money laundering and an additional five years for operating as unlicensed money transmitters. Day after the arrest of Hill and Rodrique, the federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned the Americans from using unauthorized crypto money transmitters. 

The crypto community condemned the regulatory warning. A statement from the chief executive of CryptoQuant, Ki Young Ju, argued that crypto mixers were not hideouts from criminals.

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