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Alexey Pertsev, one of the main developers of Tornado Cash, received a 64-month prison sentence in a court in the Netherlands, where he is being held. In other words, Pertsev will have to spend 5 years and 4 months behind bars. The sentence came from a judge at the S-Hertogenbosch court, who sentenced Pertsev this Tuesday (14).

According to the sentence, Pertsev was found guilty of money laundering crimes through cryptocurrencies. The accusation is the same that caused United States authorities to apply sanctions against the Tornado Case in 2022.

Pertsev has been detained in the Netherlands since 2022 on a provisional basis. It was almost two years in prison before he finally received his sentence. The developer denies the accusations for which he received the sentence.

Tornado Cash Saga

According to the court, Pertsev organized money laundering operations and movement of illicit funds between July 9, 2019 and August 10, 2022. The judge stated that the developer should have at least suspected the criminal origins of the illicit transactions circulating at Tornado Cash.

The developer was first arrested in the Netherlands in August 2022 after Tornado Cash was blacklisted by the US government. At the time, the US Treasury alleged that Tornado Cash was a key tool for the North Korean hacker group Lazarus.

The Lazarus Group actually used the tool, including to hide the origin of the US$625 million stolen from Ronin in 2022. This was the biggest hacker attack in the history of cryptocurrencies, but Lazarus also carried out other actions.

On the other hand, the developer of Tornado Cash stated that he was neither aware of nor endorsed the actions of the criminal group. Tornado Cash defenders claim that the tool is also used to circumvent bans on the use of cryptocurrencies in authoritarian countries.

In addition to Pertsev, Roman Storm and Roman Semenov, other Tornado Cash developers, also face charges of money laundering and US sanctions violations. Storm was arrested in 2023 and will go to trial in September, but Semenov has not yet been arrested.

Storm, however, is not accused of being responsible for laundering $1.2 billion due to differences in how US and Dutch laws approach personal liability in this type of crime. Therefore, the prosecution in this case fell entirely against Pertsev.

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