Tornado Cash Co-Founder Roman Storm Maintains Innocence in Money Laundering Case – Here’s the Latest

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: AdobeStock / vadimalekcandr

Roman Storm, co-founder of the sanctioned Ethereum-based crypto mixer Tornado Cash, has pleaded not guilty to charges related to money laundering and sanctions violations.

Storm pleaded not guilty in front of a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, Inner City Press reported on X the same day.

According to the X account, “multiple terabytes” of materials from Dutch authorities, some of it encrypted, will be included in the upcoming court case.

The account also quoted from the court case that there are “some classified materials” in the case, and that it involves several victims of hacks.

In addition to money laundering and sanctions violations charges, Storm has been charged with conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

Charged with helping Lazarus Group

The most serious of the charges are those related to sanctions violations, which the DOJ alleges has been facilitated for North Korea’s infamous Lazarus Group of hackers.

According to prosecutors, money from Lazarus Group that has passed through Tornado Cash has been used to fund North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Storm was arrested in late August, and released on a $2 million bond shortly after.

His Russian passport has been seized by the authorities, and he is restricted from traveling outside specific regions in the states of New York, New Jersey, Washington and California.

Storm is a dual US and Russian citizen.

Several arrests

Roman Storm was charged by the Justice Department (DOJ) together with his fellow co-founder Roman Semenov, who has yet to be arrested.

The DOJ alleges that the two through their involvement in the crypto mixer has facilitated laundering of more than $1 billion.

Tornado Cash was first sanctioned by the US government in 2022, with another of the protocol’s co-founders, Alexey Pertsev, getting arrested in Amsterdam almost immediately afterwards.

Pertsev still remains in the country awaiting trial there.