Bitcoin Privacy On Trial: Samourai Developers' First Court Hearing Recap

Right now, within the Southern District of New York, was the primary listening to within the US Division of Justice’s (DoJ) case against Samourai Wallet developers Keonne Rodriguez and William Lonergan Hill.

The 2 builders had been arrested in late April and charged with conspiracy to commit cash laundering and conspiracy to function an unlicensed cash transmitting enterprise.

Solely Rodriguez and his lawyer, Michael Krouse, had been current within the courtroom in the present day, although, as Hill continues to be in Portugal and has but to answer an extradition request from the US authorities.

The prosecution acknowledged that it’s almost set to have interaction in discovery (sharing the proof that it plans to make use of for the trial with the defendants) and that it’s ready for the trial whether or not each Hill and Rodriguez are current for it or not.

Samourai Pockets developer Keonne Rodriguez leaving the courthouse in downtown Manhattan after his listening to on Could 28, 2024. Photograph credit score: Jeremy Poley

“Substantial Discovery”

The prosecution additionally acknowledged that it has but to extract the entire knowledge from the digital gadgets it has confiscated from Rodriguez, however that it’s going to present “substantial discovery” based mostly on the data it has obtained so far.

And it shared that it’s nonetheless ready on Rodriguez to show over a 2 terabyte laborious drive that the defendant nonetheless has in his possession.

No particulars had been supplied as to what knowledge is perhaps on the laborious drive.

A Letter From Two Senators

Rodriguez’s lawyer acknowledged that he plans to file a movement to dismiss the indictment of his consumer and his consumer’s companion at Samourai, citing a letter that US Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) despatched to Legal professional Normal Merrick Garland by which the 2 politicians argued non-custodial crypto software program cannot be a cash transmitting service.

“We write to express our grave concerns regarding the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent policy arguments that dramatically expand the scope of the Federal prohibition on operating an unlicensed money transmitting business,” begins the letter.

“The DOJ’s unprecedented interpretation of this statute in the context of non-custodial crypto asset software services contradicts the clear intent of Congress and the authoritative guidance of the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This interpretation threatens to criminalize Americans offering non-custodial crypto asset software services,” Senators Lummis and Wyden added.

The letter additionally acknowledges that “non-custodial crypto service providers cannot be classified as money transmitter businesses because users of such services retain sole possession and control of their crypto assets.”

Transferring Ahead

The decide introduced that Rodriguez would stay below home arrest and that the subsequent listening to for the case would happen on September 4, 2024 at 11:30 AM EST.

These enthusiastic about donating to the authorized protection fund for the Samourai builders can achieve this through this fundraiser arrange by the Bitcoin Coverage Institute (BPI).

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