Virgil Griffith, the Ethereum developer who was recently arrested by U.S. authorities, has been released from jail pending trial. The development was revealed by Brian Klein, the lawyer who now represents the developer.
Klein took to Twitter to announce the development, promising that “Virgil looks forward to his day in court.”
I now represent Virgil Griffith and am very pleased that today the judge found that he should be released from jail pending trial. We dispute the untested allegations in the criminal complaint, and Virgil looks forward to his day in court, when the full story can come out.
— Brian Klein (@brianeklein) December 3, 2019
Klein successfully negotiated a settlement for Charlie Shrem in his case against the Winklevoss brothers. When the lawsuit began, Shrem looked set to lose his assets, but it ended up with an off-the-court settlement.
Most recently, Klein represented Block.one, the firm involved in the development of EOS cryptocurrency. The SEC had sued the company for an unregistered ICO from which it had raised over $4 billion. Block.one ended up paying $24 million in penalties.
As CoinGeek reported, Griffith was arrested when he landed in Los Angeles after attending a blockchain conference in North Korea. According to the U.S. DoJ, he had violated the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which restricts any U.S. citizen from offering goods, services or technology to North Korea without the government’s permit. The DoJ further alleged that the researcher was out to assist the North Korean government evade sanctions imposed on it for human rights abuse.
Griffith’s arrest divided the crypto community, with some asking for his release while others felt the government was right to arrest him. Predictably, the Ethereum community was up in arms protesting the arrest.
The protests were led by Ethereum’s leader Vitalik Buterin. On Twitter, he stated:
I refuse to take the convenient path of throwing Virgil under the bus, because I firmly believe that that would be wrong. I'm signing. Reasoning below.https://t.co/E44p5caeJO
— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) December 1, 2019
He urged all his followers to sign the petition on Change.org which asks for Griffith’s release.
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