The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has denied Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm’s request to dismiss criminal charges. They argue that the defense’s claims involve disputed facts that should be decided by a jury.

Accusations against developer

Storm, along with co-developer Roman Semenov, is charged by the DOJ with conspiracy to commit money laundering, operating an unlicensed cash-in-transit business, and violating sanctions laws through the creation and operation of Tornado Cash.

The allegations suggest that Tornado Cash facilitated criminal activity, particularly by entities such as North Korea’s Lazarus Group. In their motion to dismiss, Storm’s attorneys argued that Tornado Cash was not a custodial mixing service because Storm had no control over its use, including its use by illegal entities.

However, the DOJ disputes these claims in its recent complaint, highlighting Tornado Cash’s 2019 announcement as a mixer and its comprehensive service consisting of a website, user interface, smart contracts and a network of “relayers.”

The DOJ has rejected Storm’s attempt to dismiss charges based on his subjective interpretation of Tornado Cash’s activities and intentions, claiming that he and the co-founders retained control of the mixer

The dispute underlines the legal complexities surrounding crypto innovations and their regulatory oversight as authorities navigate changing technological landscapes.


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