Roman Storm, the developer behind Tornado Cash, entered a plea of “not guilty” to charges related to conspiring to operate a money transmitter, facilitating money laundering, and evading sanctions. This legal development unfolded on Wednesday.
Roman Storm, who holds dual U.S. and Russian citizenship, has been granted release on a $2 million personal recognizance bond. This bond is secured by his residence in Washington state and co-signed by a “financially responsible” individual, according to Judge Katherine Polk Failla at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. However, Storm will remain under house arrest at his Washington home during this legal process and will be subject to regular drug testing. He is also prohibited from possessing firearms and from making any contact with co-defendants, witnesses, or alleged victims.
As part of his pre-trial restrictions, Storm is permitted to travel only between his home base and specific locations, including the central district of California, as well as the southern and eastern districts of New York and New Jersey for pre-trial hearings.
Storm’s arrest occurred two weeks ago on charges encompassing conspiracy to facilitate money laundering, operating as an unlicensed money transmitter, and violating sanctions. Prosecutors allege that Storm, along with his fellow developers and co-founders, Roman Semenov and Alexey Pertsev, played a role in assisting illicit actors in laundering more than $1 billion in stolen cryptocurrency. This sum reportedly includes “hundreds of millions” of dollars funneled to North Korea. Notably, Alexey Pertsev was arrested in The Netherlands last year and is currently awaiting trial, while Roman Semenov, although indicted alongside Storm, has not been apprehended at the time of this report.
Brian Klein, a partner at Waymaker LLP who represents Storm, previously issued a statement asserting that federal officials were applying a “novel legal theory” to prosecute someone for their involvement in code development.