Someone is pulling a prank or trolling celebs by sending ETH from Tornado Cash in an attempt to demonstrate the recent sanctions can not be easily enforced.
Following sanctions, the unknown troll sent small amounts of Ethereum to Jimmy Fallon, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, and Youtuber Logan Paul among many other celebrities.
It is not possible to trace the source of the transaction per Tornado Cash design and hence, either an individual or several individuals or entities are behind the operation.
After the U.S. government imposed sanctions, it is illegal for any U.S. person and entities to interact with Tornado Cash. Penalties for willful noncompliance can range from $50,000 to $10,000,000 and 10 to 30 years imprisonment.
These bulk transactions indicate that the sender was trying to troll the ban or to direct law enforcement attention to recipient individuals. However, the treasury sanctions require “willful” engagement with blacklisted addresses for potential criminal proceedings.
Thus, it is unlikely that the recipient of ETH from Tornado Cash can constitute a violation of the sanctions. As a sanction after effect, we have also witnessed GitHub disabling accounts tied to Tornado Cash including the account of its co-founder while Circle also blacklisted its wallet addresses, freezing USDC.