The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned Roman Semenov, a co-founder of Tornado Cash, due to his alleged involvement in utilizing the Tornado Cash protocol to wash funds for the North Korean hacker collective Lazarus Group.
The OFAC holds that Tornado Cash has been exploited for money laundering purposes, including concealing substantial sums of virtual currency pilfered by the Lazarus Group.
The OFAC sanctions, executed jointly with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), underscore the governmental urgency to counter unlawful financial activities in the cryptocurrency sector. Additionally, Roman Storm, another co-founder of Tornado Cash, has been indicted and apprehended as part of this effort. The Lazarus Group, previously sanctioned by the US, took advantage of Tornado Cash to obscure the origin of ill-gotten funds from major virtual currency heists.