-->Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev is accused by Dutch authorities of laundering $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency. This is reported by Coindesk, which has been able to view the indictment from the Public Prosecution Service prior to the trial scheduled for March 26.

Developer accused of money laundering

The indictment states that between July 9, 2019 and August 10, 2022, Pertsev, alone or jointly, “made a habit of money laundering” in the Netherlands and/or in Russia and/or the United States and/or in Dubai.

Tornado Cash developers Roman Storm and Roman Semenov have also been charged with money laundering and violating sanctions in the US. The allegations in the Dutch indictment against Pertsev are consistent with the allegations that Storm and Semenov have faced in the US. Storm says he is innocent, while Semenov is still on the run.

Pertsev was jailed in the Netherlands in August 2022 on vague charges. This happened shortly after Tornado Cash was blacklisted by the American authorities because North Korea was said to be using the mixer. His arrest sparked public outrage, especially from the developer community who were concerned that the charges against Pertsev could set a dangerous precedent for criminalizing software developers.

500.000 ether

During hearings in 2023 at the court in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Pertsev was accused of routinely laundering more than 500,000 ether (ETH) of suspected criminal origin. However, Pertsev has denied these accusations and the court has allowed him to await his trial at home.

The indictment lists nearly 40 transactions amounting to 535,809 ETH from various platforms, including KuCoin and Liquid, the exchange acquired by FTX. The largest listed amount of 175,100 ETH (approximately $585 million at current prices) came from Axie Infinity’s Ronin network. That lost about $625 million in a 2022 hack, one of the worst in crypto history. According to experts, the infamous hacker group Lazarus is behind the digital heist, a group with alleged ties to the North Korean regime.

Pertsev and his associates could at least and reasonably have suspected the criminal origin of the funds, Dutch prosecutors claim. A legal fund for the defense of Pertsev and Storm – backed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – has raised $350,000.

Pertsev’s trial will take place on March 26 and 27 at the court in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Source: https://bitcoinmagazine.nl/nieuws/om-beschuldigt-tornado-cash-ontwikkelaar-van-witwassen-12-miljard-dollar

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