Alexey Pertsev – developer of the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash – will reportedly remain in jail until late February 2023.
The Dutch Crime Agency (FIOD) arrested the man in August this year after the US Treasury Department previously sanctioned Tornado Cash for enabling money-laundering procedures.
According to a recent CoinDesk coverage, Pertsev will stay in prison until at least February 20, 2023. The Dutch authorities were supposed to release the Russian software developer by the end of November but extended his sentence since he represents a “flight risk.”
Pertsev’s lawyer Keith Chang was “very disappointed” with the order and suggested that the judges are not “as familiar with the subject matter as they should be.”
“At the moment, the case law regarding criminal activities is all about bitcoin mixers … it’s very important that the court understands that Tornado Cash is something different,” he added.
The American authorities sanctioned the cryptocurrency mixer at the beginning of August, claiming it “launders the proceeds of cybercrimes, including those committed against victims in the United States.”
According to US estimations, Tornado Cash has laundered over $7 billion worth of digital currencies since 2019, including more than $450 million stolen by the notorious North Korean hacking collective Lazarus Group.
The Dutch police detained Alexey Pertsev a few days after the announced sanctions and sentenced him to a minimum of 90 days in jail.
The crypto community was quick to react to the arrest, and most participants took the developer’s side. Stephan Livera – a Bitcoin podcast host – said it’s not Pertsev’s fault that wrongdoers have used the crypto mixer. “Imagine if road builders were being arrested” because criminals use the streets they built, he gave as an example.
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