Roman Storm, co-founder of the cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash, has filed a motion to dismiss all three charges against him alleging money laundering and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Storm’s lawyers argue that he cannot be deemed to have conspired to launder funds, as Tornado Cash was developed and publicly available before it was allegedly used by hacking groups sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury.

The charges revolve around Tornado Cash allegedly facilitating the efforts of the North Korean Lazarus Group to bypass US sanctions, purportedly funding the country’s nuclear program. Storm’s legal team contends that Tornado Cash was not a money-transmitting business, as it did not charge a fee for transmitting funds, and users retained sole control over their crypto. Storm pleaded not guilty to all charges in September 2023 and was released on a $2 million bond. However, he is largely restricted from traveling outside certain areas of New York, New Jersey, Washington, and California.

The motion to dismiss comes amid a broader crackdown by the US government on crypto-mixing services. Recently, the founder of Bitcoin Fog, another crypto-mixing service, was convicted of money laundering charges. Despite legal challenges, crypto mixers remain valued by some in the crypto community for providing increased privacy and confidentiality for legitimate transactions.

In conclusion, Storm’s motion to dismiss highlights the ongoing legal battles faced by individuals involved in crypto-mixing services and underscores the complexities surrounding the regulation of privacy-enhancing technologies in the cryptocurrency space.