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DOJ Disagrees with Roman Storm About How Tornado Cash Works in New Filing

DOJ Disputes Roman Storm’s Characterization of Tornado Cash Operations in New Filing

The U.S. Department of Justice has contested a motion by Roman Storm, the developer of Tornado Cash, seeking to dismiss criminal charges against him. According to a filing made on Friday, the DOJ asserted its confidence in the evidence supporting the charges, indicating that disputed facts should be deliberated by a jury rather than being dismissed at an early stage.

Roman Storm and fellow developer Roman Semenov were charged by the DOJ with multiple counts, including conspiring to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business through Tornado Cash. Allegations suggest that criminal entities, including North Korea’s Lazarus Group, utilized Tornado Cash to launder funds.

Storm’s defense had argued for the dismissal of the indictment, contending that Tornado Cash did not meet the criteria of a financial institution and that Storm lacked control over the service to prevent its misuse. They emphasized that developing code did not equate to operating a money laundering enterprise.

DOJ Disagrees with Roman Storm About How Tornado Cash Works in New Filing

DOJ Disagrees with Roman Storm About How Tornado Cash Works in New Filing
(Credits: Crypto Meter)

The DOJ countered these arguments, stating that Tornado Cash was indeed a mixer, as announced in 2019, and comprised a website, user interface, smart contracts, and a network of relayers. The filing rejected Storm’s depiction of the service and highlighted the control exercised by Storm and his co-founders over the mixer, especially during the period outlined in the charging document.

Furthermore, the DOJ disputed Storm’s claims regarding the functionality of the Tornado Cash interface and the level of control individual users had over transactions, providing evidence such as screenshots to support their stance. The filing also alluded to forthcoming evidence expected to be presented during the trial, including details of the system’s development and usage patterns.

The trial for Storm is scheduled for September, while Semenov remains at large, underscoring the severity and complexity of the case surrounding Tornado Cash and its developers’ alleged involvement in facilitating illicit financial activities.

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