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Virgil Griffith Got 63 Months for North Korea Sanctions Violation Conspiracy Now US Opposes Reduction

By Matthew Russell Lee, Pod  Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 17 – Virgil Griffith, charged with violating North Korea sanctions in connection with a crypto-currency conference there and facing a September 27 trial, pleaded guilty in the morning and was remanded to jail.

  His sentencing was set for January 18, 2022, but occurred on April 12. Inner City Press was there and live tweeted, as he got 63 months and a $100,000 fine. Thread here

 Griffith: Watching Ukraine sanctions has shown me their value. I have been cured of my stubborn arrogance, and my obsession with North Korea. My career has been damaged. I'm sorry.

Judge Castel: Virgil Griffith has no ideology. He'll play off both sides, as long as he is at the center. I sentence him to 63 months in prison and a fine of $100,000.

 Docketed after the guilty plea was an order allowing his lawyers to take their fees out of his Coinbase accounts, 582b97ccd7afbl018834f232 and 52fbe72ld358f6dda000010a.  Photo here. Podcast here.

Jump cut two years forward and on April 17, 2024 Virgil Griffith through new counsel filed a "motion for re-sentencing under Section 4C1.1 of the Guidelines." They say a two point reduction brings the Guidelines down to 51 to 63 months.

On May 21, Judge Castel docketed: "ORDER as to Virgil Griffith. On April 12, 2022, the defendant was sentenced principally to a term of imprisonment of 63 months. (Minute Entry; ECF 194.) By letter dated April 17, 2024, defendant, through his attorneys, moved for a sentence reduction pursuant to Amendment 821 to the Sentencing Guidelines which went into effect on November 1, 2023 and applies retroactively. (ECF 216.) The United States Probation Department has issued a report indicating that defendant is eligible for a sentence reduction. (ECF 217.) The government is directed to respond to the motion by June 10, 2024. Defendant may reply 14 days after the filing of the government's submission."

After an extension the US Attorney's Office on June 17 opposed any reduction, citing denial in US v. Calk (who lent to Paul Manafort seeking a top US Army post) and snarking that in prison Griffith "has attempted to steal soap and tea (though he claims he was going to ask to keep it).

Inner City Press will follow this. Letter on Patreon here

Back on July 20 he faced a bail review proceeding - in person. He lost and was remanded, perhaps having an impact on the September 27 guilty plea. Inner City Press was there, and live tweeted, here and below (podcast here)

 On September 14, in the run up to the trial  starting on September 27, there was a final pre-trial conference replete with rulings. Inner City Press live tweeted it here.

  On September 22, Judge Castel denied Griffith's sealed motion to depose the Ethereum Foundation's general counsel Tju Liang Chua, or to allow him to testify by video. Order on Patreon here. On other grounds - late produced discovery - Griffith's lawyers  asked for a week continuance in the trial.

On September 23, initially without Griffith present, Judge Castel held a hearing then denied the request for delay. Inner City Press live tweeted it here.

On September 26, the Sunday before the trial starts on Monday, the US Attorney's Office docketed their opposition to the testimony of Ethereum's General Counsel, and e-mails of Virgil Griffith, filing on DocumentCloud here. Song here

On Saturday, Griffith's lawyer belatedly docketed their motion, on Patreon here.

The case is US v. Griffith, 20-cr-15 (Castel). 


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