A co-founder and developer of crypto mixer Tornado Cash has filed a motion to have the US government’s lawsuit against him dismissed.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Roman Storm and Roman Semenov, another founder, with aiding the North Korean hacking group Lazarus in laundering illicit funds through the Tornado Cash mixing service.

Lawyers for Storm say in a new court filing that the developer simply created decentralized software solutions to “provide financial privacy to legitimate cryptocurrency users,” which is not a crime.

Storm’s attorneys say that the DOJ’s money laundering charges are “fatally flawed” and should be dismissed pursuant to the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure.

“Money laundering requires a ‘financial transaction’ involving a ‘financial institution,’ yet Tornado Cash’s publicly available protocol and the allegedly related software services, even as wrongfully characterized in the Indictment, do not conduct any financial transactions nor do they qualify as financial institutions as a matter of law. Moreover, the Indictment fails to allege facts that would show that Mr. Storm entered into a conspiratorial agreement with any bad actor to launder money, or that he had the specific intent to commit money laundering (nor could it).

Indeed, the Indictment itself makes clear he could not have had such an agreement or such an intent because the Tornado Cash protocol was developed and became immutable before the alleged criminal conduct that is at the center of the money laundering count even occurred.”

Storm was released on bail last year, and at the time, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the developers intentionally helped criminals launder and conceal funds with Tornado Cash.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants operated a $1 billion scheme designed to help other criminals launder and conceal funds using cryptocurrency, including by laundering hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of a state-sponsored North Korean cybercrime group sanctioned by the US government.

These charges should serve as yet another warning to those who think they can turn to cryptocurrency to conceal their crimes and hide their identities, including cryptocurrency mixers: it does not matter how sophisticated your scheme is or how many attempts you have made to anonymize yourself, the DOJ will find you and hold you accountable for your crimes.”

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