Sam Bankman-Fried’s life in jail, Tornado Cash’s turmoil, and a $3B BTC whale: Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 20-26
United States officials pressed charges against the co-founders of crypto mixer Tornado Cash on Aug. 23. Roman Storm and Roman Semenov were both charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit sanctions violations and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Storm was arrested and released on bail a few days later, while Semenov was added to the U.S. list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. Combined, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison. The third Tornado Cash co-founder, Alexey Pertsev, was arrested in the Netherlands on money laundering charges in August 2022. The law enforcement actions are a continuation of a U.S. government crackdown on Tornado Cash that began last year due to its alleged role in laundering funds of the Lazarus Group, a North Korean-linked hacking collective. Tornado Cash has been implicated in several other hacks as well. All told, the mixer has laundered over $1 billion in ill-gotten gains, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried appears to be having a tough time behind bars, eating only bread with peanut butter to accommodate his vegan diet while exhausting his supply of prescription medication. In the same hearing where Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty to seven fraud-related charges, his lawyers pleaded for the former FTX CEO to receive better treatment inside Brooklyns notorious Metropolitan Detention Center. Also this week, Bankman-Fried was granted permission to meet with his legal team outside of jail with 48 hours’ notice. Every day, he will have roughly seven hours to prepare for his upcoming trial expected to begin in October.
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