Alexey Pertsev found guilty of money laundering, faces 64 months in prison

Alexey Pertsev’s verdict by a Dutch Court shouldn’t impact Roman Storm’s upcoming trial, CoinCenter’s Peter Van Valkenburgh says


Tornado Cash and Adobe Stock modified by Blockworks


A Dutch court found Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev guilty on Tuesday, sentencing him to 64 months in prison. 

Pertsev was accused of laundering $1.2 billion of crypto through Tornado Cash, per an indictment earlier this year. He stood trial back in March. 

“The court concludes that the suspect consciously accepted the significant chance that the charged Ether resulting from a crime was deposited in [crypto system], as a result of which he was guilty of laundering it,” a translated version of the ruling said. 

“In view of all this, the court was of the opinion that it was foreseeable from the start that Ether resulting from crime would be deposited in [crypto system] due to the concealing effect of [crypto system]. This has actually happened frequently and to a large extent. Concealment has de facto always been a core activity of [crypto system],” the ruling continued.

Read more: The DOJ’s about-face on money transmitters

Pertsev’s conviction comes as the US also looks to crack down on Tornado Cash. Government officials sanctioned Tornado Cash in 2022, and last year, the US publicly targeted two co-founders of Tornado Cash — Roman Storm and Roman Semenov — and charged them with money laundering and sanctions violations. Storm was arrested, though Semenov remains at large. 

Semenov’s known email addresses and Ethereum wallet addresses were added to OFAC’s list last August.

Read more from our opinion section: Tornado Cash got wrecked, and we could have prevented it

Storm is expected to face a trial in the US later this year. CoinCenter’s head of research Peter Van Valkenburgh said that the outcome shouldn’t impact Storm’s trial later this year. 

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“Some of this would be highly questionable under US constitutional law. Unlike in the SDNY case that focuses primarily on ongoing activities of the defendants, the Dutch ruling seems to come straight out and say that you can be criminally responsible merely for inventing a crypto system,” Van Valkenburgh said in a post on X. 

Van Valkenburgh penned a note earlier this month on how the Department of Justice had turned its nose to previous guidance from the Treasury Department’s FinCEN on money transmitters, according to legal documents filed in the case against the Tornado Cash developers and also its case against Samourai Wallet

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