NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department announced on Monday that it has indicted two Europeans accused of conspiring with a recently convicted cryptocurrency expert to help North Korea evade U.S. financial sanctions.
Alejandro Cao de Benos, a Spanish citizen, and Christopher Emms, a British citizen, have been accused of working with American computer scientist Virgil Griffith to illegally provide cryptocurrency and blockchain technology services to North Korea.
Alejandro Cao de Benos, 47, and Christopher Emms, 30, could each face up to 20 years in prison for conspiring to violate US sanctions, US prosecutors in Manhattan have said.
The two accused were on the run. Their lawyers could not immediately be identified.
Virgil Griffith, who provided financial advice to North Korea to escape international sanctions, was sentenced on April 12 to 5 and a half years in prison after pleading guilty in a US federal court.
According to US prosecutors, Virgil Griffith traveled to North Korea via China in April 2019 to present at the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, after being denied permission to attend by the US State Department.
(Report Jonathan Stempel, French version Kate Entringer, edited by Matthieu Protard)