According to reports stemming from investigative journalist Matthew Russell Lee, from Inner City Press, former Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith has violated the terms of his bail and has been taken into custody. According to the reports, the U.S. Attorney’s Office revoked Griffith’s bond because he allegedly tried to access the crypto exchange Coinbase.
Report Says Virgil Griffith Violated His Bond Terms
At the end of November 2019, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) arrested the former Ethereum Foundation member Virgil Griffith for allegedly “assisting North Korea in evading sanctions.”
After the Manhattan U.S. Attorney revealed the news, the cryptocurrency community erupted in outrage. A year and eight months later, Griffith was released on bail but reports from Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press note that he’s recently been taken into custody. Allegedly, Griffith violated the terms of his bail and the SDNY judge presiding over his case had him arrested.
“Virgil Griffith was surrounded by two U.S. Marshals and took off his belt before being taken into the holding cell,” Russell Lee wrote on Tuesday. “His lawyer Mr. Klein, when the [Inner City Press] asked, said he had no comment. Virgil’s father, whom Inner City Press previously spoke with, nodded.”
Reportedly Griffith’s Mother Logged-in and Login Was a ‘Misunderstanding’
A report from mon-livret.fr written in French and shared by Russell Lee, explains what happened to Griffith. Allegedly, the former Ethereum developer attempted to access the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase via his account, but reportedly had his mother sign into the account.
His bail terms noted that he was not allowed to access any of his cryptocurrency accounts while he was under house arrest in Alabama. Griffith’s attorney argued that the login was a “misunderstanding” and Griffith’s lawyer reportedly asserted he didn’t need his mother to log in.
The report highlights that Judge Castel, of the SDNY court, refused to hear the lawyer’s arguments. Castel explained that because of the rising price of ethereum (ETH) the bond terms were created for a reason so Griffith wouldn’t be a flight risk.
Following the judge’s statements and Klein’s arguments, Castel ordered that Griffith should be taken into custody immediately. If convicted of the conspiracy charges for allegedly teaching North Korea “how to use blockchain technology,” Griffith will face up to 20 years in a federal penitentiary.
A petition to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted on the website Change.org indicates that there’s a formal request to get Griffith out of prison. The petition was created in November 2019, after Griffith’s arrest, and it has only managed to acquire 319 signatures out of 500 during the last year and a half.
“We seek to have Virgil Griffith released from prison and all pending charges dropped,” the Change.org petition creators detail.
What do you think about Virgil Griffith getting taken into custody for accessing his Coinbase account? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.