DUTCH INDICT TORNADO CASH DEVELOPER IN $1.2B LAUNDERING CAS

The indictment from the Netherlands, spanning three pages, accuses Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev of playing a crucial role in laundering $1.2 billion through the platform, which has faced sanctions by OFAC.

Alexey Pertsev, since his arrest in August 2022, has refuted claims that he violated anti-money laundering regulations.

This recent charge sheet from Dutch authorities implicates Pertsev in laundering operations via Tornado Cash, highlighting over 30 transactions considered illicit on the platform. Notably, the prosecutors pointed out a transaction involving 175 ETH, allegedly connected to the Ronin Bridge cyberattack, as reported by DL News.

Pertsev is poised to face trial in the Netherlands on March 26, facing accusations of money laundering among other financial crimes.

Previously recognized as a leading cryptocurrency mixing service, Tornado Cash offered users anonymity for their transactions. Yet, in 2022, the service was banned for US citizens by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury, citing its role in laundering over $7 billion in cryptocurrency. This figure includes $455 million believed to be stolen by the Lazarus Group, a cybercrime syndicate associated with North Korea, in the same year.

Following Pertsev’s indictment, another developer associated with Tornado Cash, Roman Storm, was also charged with laundering in excess of $1 billion from illegal activities.

The enforcement actions by OFAC against the developers were criticized by privacy proponents. Nonetheless, Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency whistleblower, publicly expressed his support for both accused developers.

Post-sanction, Tornado Cash saw a significant downturn in its financial activities, with Chainalysis reporting a 93% reduction in the platform’s monthly cash inflows compared to the averages before the sanctions.

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