Tornado Cash Developer Roman Storm Pleads Not Guilty to Money Laundering, Other Charges

Prosecutors allege that Storm and fellow developers Roman Semenov and Alexey Pertsev helped bad actors launder over $1 billion in stolen crypto.

AccessTimeIconSep 6, 2023 at 4:24 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 6, 2023 at 4:39 p.m. UTC

NEW YORK — Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm pleaded "not guilty" to charges of conspiring to operate a money transmitter or facilitate money laundering and sanctions evasion in a court appearance Wednesday.

Storm, a dual U.S. and Russian citizen, will be released on a $2 million personal recognizance bond secured by his residence in Washington state and co-signed by one “financially responsible” person, Judge Katherine Polk Failla said at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The Tornado Cash co-founder will remain under house arrest at his Washington home, and will receive regular drug testing. He is not allowed to own a firearm or contact any co-defendants, witnesses or alleged victims. Storm can only travel between his home base and the central district of California, the southern and eastern districts of New York and New Jersey for pre-trial hearings.

Storm was arrested two weeks ago on charges of conspiracy to facilitate money laundering, operate an unlicensed money transmitter and violating sanctions. Prosecutors allege that he, alongside fellow developers and cofounders Roman Semenov and Alexey Pertsev, helped bad actors launder over $1 billion in stolen crypto, including "hundreds of millions" for North Korea, through their work building Tornado Cash.

Pertsev was arrested last year by authorities in The Netherlands, where he remains awaiting trial. Semenov was indicted alongside Storm, but has not been arrested as of press time.

Brian Klein, a partner at Waymaker LLP representing Storm, previously said in a statement that federal officials were using a "novel legal theory" to prosecute someone for developing code.

UPDATE (Sept. 6, 2023, 16:40 UTC): Adds additional details from Wednesday's hearing.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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