Virgil Griffith, Ethereum Developer Sentenced to 5+ Years in Prison

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Virgil Griffith, Ethereum Developer Sentenced to 5+ Years in Prison
Source: Yahoo Finance

Ethereum’s former developer Virgil Griffith was sentenced to 63 months in prison and charged a penalty of $100,000.

He was sentenced to prison for assisting North Koreans in using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions.

Griffith pled guilty to conspiring to breach UN sanctions on North Korea in September. Griffith was detained in November 2019 after giving a discussion in Pyongyang at a Bitcoin conference in April.

The initial sentence was initiated for a maximum penalty of 20 years. Griffith pleaded with the prosecutors to bring down the penalty to 63-78 months. That will be approximately a duration of 5 to 6.5 years.

Griffith has already spent nearly two years in jail, albeit 14 of those months were spent on bail. The remaining ten months will be counted as time served by the court.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel of the Southern District of New York handed down a sentence on Tuesday that was on the lower end of the prosecution’s prescribed sentencing guidelines and in keeping with the Department of Probation’s recommendation.

The defense asks for leniency for Griffith

Griffith and his attorneys got the opportunity to address any last remarks or objections before the final sentence. His parents and several other friends accompanied him to the courtroom.

Griffith’s primary counsel, Brian Klein, requested Judge Castel to take into consideration variables that he claimed were not accounted for in the prosecution’s sentence guidelines.

It included the severe conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, where Griffith has been imprisoned.

Griffith was subjected to “many truly hard and terrible situations” at MDC, including lengthy solitary confinement due to COVID-19 outbreaks, no family visits, restricted access to blankets and warm clothes, and even being forced to use his sink as a toilet, according to Klein.

According to Klein, because gangs in MDC control the cooks and commissaries, Griffith has been confined to two or fewer meals every day, mainly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“I’ve learned my lesson,” hesaid. “I am still profoundly embarrassed that I am here, and of what I have done.”

The punishment of Virgil will be a lesson to all who are planning to conduct similar uncanny activities.