Crypto News

BTC-e Operator Who Used Bitcoin to Launder $4B Extradited to U.S. to Face Charges

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) introduced Friday that Alexander Vinnik, a 42-year-old Russian, has been extradited from Greece to the United States to face a number of prices relating to money laundering and working an unlawful cryptocurrency trade. 

Vinnik first received into authorized bother with the DOJ in 2017 for allegedly working the now-defunct crypto buying and selling platform BTC-e within the U.S. with out correct authorization and serving to criminals launder at the very least $4 billion by Bitcoin.

An Extradition Tussle

That similar year, he was arrested in Greece on the request of the U.S. authorities. After his arrest, Vinnik’s belongings, value $90 million, had been confiscated by police in New Zealand police. At the time, the authorities famous that BTC-e allegedly had no anti-money laundering insurance policies, thus facilitating a spread of cybercrimes, together with laundering illicit proceeds, ransomware assaults, fraud, theft, and drug crimes. 

In January 2020, the 42-year-old was then extradited to France after a years-long extradition tussle between Russia, France, and the United States. 

After his extradition to France, Vinnik denied the allegations and requested a switch to Russia, the place he faces lesser legal prices involving about $11,000. His request was denied by a Paris-based choose who dominated that he would face prices in France for defrauding at the very least 100 folks by ransomware between 2016 and 2018. 

In December 2020, French prosecutors sentenced Vinnik to 5 years in jail for money laundering. However, he was acquitted of the preliminary allegation that he had defrauded folks by ransomware. 

U.S. Extradites Vinnik from Greece

On Thursday, the legal was transferred again to Greece and extradited to the U.S. He now faces 21 prices, together with working an unlicensed money service business, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, and illegal financial transactions. 

“After more than five years of litigation, Russian national Alexander Vinnik was extradited to the United States yesterday to be held accountable for operating BTC-e, a criminal cryptocurrency exchange, which laundered more than $4 billion of criminal proceeds,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division are nonetheless investigating the case. Vinnik dangers spending up to 50 years in an American jail if discovered responsible.

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