Roman Storm, facing multiple federal charges related to his role in the creation of Tornado Cash, is bracing for a trial in the United States. Scheduled for September 2024, the trial could have far-reaching implications for the crypto industry and digital privacy laws.
Roman Storm Pledges Vigorous Defense in Upcoming U.S. Trial
Tornado Cash co-founder Roman Storm is readying for what he considers a major precedent-setting trial in the United States. Storm, who faces multiple charges including money laundering and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, articulated his resolve to mount a “strong defense” in his upcoming September 2024 trial. This statement was made in a Jan. 22 video post on X.
Storm, along with his alleged co-conspirator Roman Semenov, was indicted in August 2023. After his arrest, Storm was released on a $2 million bond. Storm has resolutely declared his innocence by pleading not guilty to the charges levied against him.
Storm’s case has garnered widespread attention, especially within the Web3 and software privacy communities. He emphasized the broader implications of his legal battle, saying:
Whether you’re [a] passionate developer like me involved with Web3 or just care about software and privacy, this legal battle will affect you. So please help contribute to my legal defense, because this case will set [a] major precedent for years to come.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Tornado Cash is accused of laundering over $1 billion in digital currency, with a notable portion linked to North Korean hackers. The indictment accuses Storm and Semenov of intentionally designing Tornado Cash to enable cybercriminals to anonymize blockchain fund transfers. This includes a reported involvement in laundering part of the $600 million stolen in a March attack on the Ronin Network, an Ethereum sidechain.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams labeled Tornado Cash as an “infamous cryptocurrency mixer” and accused Storm and Semenov of knowingly facilitating money laundering and violating U.S. sanctions. These charges are part of a broader crackdown by the Department of Justice on entities implicated in cybercrime and sanction evasion.