The conference itself was attended by about 100 people, some of whom worked for the North Korean government.
"Griffith provided highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions", said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of NY. Griffith allegedly did so by travelling to North Korea to talk about blockchain technology. That person is not named in the criminal complaint against Griffith.More news: Kim Jong Un celebrates completion of 'modern mountainous city'
While the Foundation asserted that Griffith did not represent the Ethereum Foundation in any capacity and that his visit to North Korea was personal, several influencers accused the Foundation of throwing Griffith under the bus. Griffith was released on an $800,000 bond, which his parents and sister agreed to secure with their homes as collateral.
That law is part of a slew of economic sanctions the US government has imposed on Kim Jong Un's regime for its pursuit of atomic and ballistic missiles programs, but North Korea has used its considerable cyber-capabilities to find other sources of cash.
The DOJ's criminal complaint says Griffith taught an audience in North Korea earlier this year how to use blockchain - the technology behind cryptocurrency - despite the State Department denying Griffith permission to travel there. After the conference, Griffith also began creating plans to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions between North Korea and South Korea, knowing that it would violate USA sanctions. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says Griffith still broke the law. According to the complaint, a conference organizer told Griffith he should "stress the potential money laundering and sanction evasion applications" of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology during his talk, which he went on to allegedly do.More news: High school cop shoots armed student at a Wisconsin high school
"The sanctions were not a topic at all", Fabio Pietrosanti, who claims to have known Griffith for nearly ten years, told CoinDesk.
A spokesman for the foundation said the group disavowed any connection to Griffith's North Korea trip. Griffith is known for working on a foundation that supports the Ethereum cryptocurrency.More news: ND Department of Health recommends flu shots before family gatherings