Virgil Griffith, a developer associated with Ethereum and currently serving a five-year prison sentence, has been subjected to a 10-year ban on export privileges by the United States Department of Commerce. This ban restricts Griffith’s involvement in international trade and transactions until April 12, 2032.
The export privilege ban stems from Griffith’s conviction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 12, 2022. He was found guilty of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by providing unauthorized services to North Korea and evading U.S. sanctions imposed on the country.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman stated that Griffith deliberately shared technical information with North Korea, potentially assisting in money laundering and evading sanctions. Consequently, Griffith received a prison sentence of 63 months, followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, he is obligated to pay a $100 assessment and a criminal fine of $100,000.
Under the Export Control Reform Act, individuals convicted of specific offenses, including IEEPA violations, may face a denial of export privileges for up to 10 years. This denial can result in the revocation of previously granted licenses or authorizations from the Bureau of Industry and Security, an agency of the Commerce Department.
As a consequence of the ban, Virgil Griffith is prohibited from engaging in any transactions involving commodities, software, or technology falling under the jurisdiction of U.S. export regulations. This denial of export privileges applies to Griffith as a U.S. citizen.
It’s worth noting that Griffith was initially denied bail but was eventually granted a $1 million bond order in December 2019. In October 2020, he filed a motion to dismiss the conspiracy charges, arguing that his conference presentation in April 2019 consisted of publicly available information and did not qualify as a “service” provided to North Korean officials.