Virgil Griffith Asks For A Review Of His Sentence

Virgil Griffith, the former Ethereum developer sentenced to 63 months in prison in 2022 for helping North Korea exploit blockchain technology, is seeking a review of his sentence following recent amendments to US sentencing guidelines.

Griffith makes plea for reduced sentence

The Lawyer of Griffith, Glen Garrett McGorty, addressed a letter to judge Kevin Castel from United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on April 17, arguing for a review of his client’s sentence.

The arguments advanced are based on recent changes to the U.S. sentencing guidelines, which include a two-point reduction in offense level for certain “zero-point” offenders.

If this request is granted, the total offense level of Griffith from 26 to 24, thus adjusting the guideline range for his sentence from 63 to 51 months. This could potentially reduce his sentence by a year or more.

The defense would like the U.S. probation office to prepare a revised pre-sentence investigation report and a new sentencing hearing is scheduled.

Virgil Griffith’s marked judicial career

Virgil Griffith was initially sentenced to 63 months in prison and a $100,000 fine in April 2022, after pleading guilty to violating US sanctions laws. His offence: having attended a conference in North Korea and helped the country use blockchain technology, despite the economic sanctions imposed by the United States.

In addition to his prison sentence, Griffith was imposed a 10-year ban on export privileges by the US Department of Commerce in May 2023. This measure prohibits him from engaging in any transactions involving raw materials, software or technology subject to US export regulations, while he serves the first year of his five-year sentence.

The case of Virgil Griffith highlights the risks faced by those who violate US sanctions in the crypto and blockchain sector. Recently, a crypto mixer was accused of enabling a group of hackers under U.S. sanctions, to launder money stolen during an attack on a crypto bridge. Faced with these accusations, the mixer quickly defended itself to avoid suspicion and preserve its reputation.