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Samourai Wallet Developers Face DOJ Indictment, First Court Hearing Held

Samourai Wallet Developers Face DOJ Indictment, First Court Hearing Held

May 28, 2024

Samourai Wallet Developers Face DOJ Indictment, First Court Hearing Held

The first hearing in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DoJ) case against Samourai Wallet developers Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill took place in the Southern District of New York. Both developers are charged with money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Prosecutors at the hearing informed that they are nearing readiness to present evidence in the case and are willing to proceed with the trial even if both defendants are not present. Officials are currently in the process of extracting data from Rodriguez's confiscated electronic devices and are awaiting the handover of a 2-terabyte hard drive from him, the contents of which were not disclosed.

During the hearing, the judge ruled that Rodriguez would remain under house arrest, and the next court session was scheduled for September 4, 2024, at 11:30 AM EST.

While Rodriguez was represented by his attorney, Michael Krause, Hill was notably absent as he remains under arrest in Portugal. Hill has not yet responded to an extradition request from the U.S. government. Independent journalist L0la L33tz, from The Rage, attempted to gather information on Hill's status from the Portuguese police but encountered resistance and lack of transparency.

L0la L33tz expressed frustration X (Twitter), citing stonewalling from the Policia Judiciaria and violations of press freedom and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Rodriguez's defense, led by attorney Krause, plans to file a motion to dismiss the indictment. This argument is supported by a letter from U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis and Ron Wyden to Attorney General Merrick Garland, which states that non-custodial crypto service providers should not be classified as money transmitters because users retain full control of their assets.

The legal defense for the Samourai Wallet developers can be supported through donations to the P2P Rights Foundation.

L0la L33tz's Post


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