Tornado Cash Co-founder Seeks to Have Money Laundering Charges Dropped


Roman Storm’s attorneys contended that since “there was nothing” Storm could have done to stop sanctioned entities from using the crypto mixer, the accusations are “fatally flawed” and ought to be dropped.

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Roman Storm, a co-founder of Tornado Cash, a cryptocurrency mixer, has filed a motion to have all three of the charges against him dropped. The motion claims that Storm violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and ran a money laundering operation.

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In a filing submitted on March 29 to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Storm’s attorneys argued that their client could never be considered to have conspired to launder money.


Storm’s attorneys contended that Tornado Cash was created, “became immutable,” and made available to the public prior to being utilized by hacking organizations that were approved by the US Department of Treasury.

Therefore, Storm had limited ability to stop an authorized organization from using it at the time of the alleged misconduct.

The main focus of the accusations is how Tornado Cash is said to have helped the North Korean Lazarus Group get around US sanctions, enabling the government to finance its nuclear program.

Court filing in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Source: Court Listener

Moreover, the attorneys argued that Tornado Cash was not a money-transmitting company because users kept complete control over their cryptocurrency and there was no fee associated with sending money.

They claimed that Storm’s intentions were to develop software solutions that would allow law-abiding cryptocurrency users to have financial privacy and that the accusations were “fatally flawed and should be dismissed.”


Storm was released on a $2 million bond shortly after his arrest and is primarily prohibited from traveling outside of specific areas of New York, New Jersey, Washington, and California, according to a September 2023 report. Storm also entered a not guilty plea to all charges.

This occurs while the US government keeps up its fierce campaign of targeting cryptocurrency-mixing services.

The founder of $400 million cryptocurrency mixing service Bitcoin Fog was found guilty of money laundering.

Roman Sterlingov was found guilty of operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business, conspiring to launder money, and violating the D.C. Money Transmitters Act.

Nonetheless, the cryptocurrency community considers crypto mixers to be extremely valuable because they can offer enhanced secrecy and privacy protection for individuals wishing to conduct business anonymously for justifiable purposes.

The Arbitrum DAO had previously discussed donating ARB tokens valued at about $1.3 million to help pay Storm’s legal costs. The proposal was later taken down, though it’s still unclear why it was taken down.CRYPTOCASTER® - DECENTRALIZED FREEDOM!

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