US says cryptocurrency expert violated NKorea sanctions

NEW YORK (AP) — A cryptocurrency expert has been charged with violating sanctions against North Korea by speaking at a conference there.

Federal prosecutors in New York say Virgil Griffith is due in federal court Friday in Los Angeles. He was arrested Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport.

It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer who can respond to the charges.

The 36-year-old Griffith is an American citizen. He lives in Singapore.

U.S. prosecutors say the government denied him permission to go to the April conference in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, but he went anyway — and talked with other attendees about how North Korea could use cryptocurrency technology to evade sanctions.

In 2007, Griffith became known for creating a tool that aimed to unmask people who tinkered anonymously with Wikipedia entries.

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