A Russian national, Alexander Vinnik, former head of the BTC-e crypto stock exchange, is accused of carrying out various illegal activities, including hacking and extortion. As a result, he was extradited from Greece and is currently on his way to the United States where he will stand trial.
An American Victory
He is in his 40s and was the head of a crypto exchange known as BTC-e. Alexander Vinnik would have taken advantage of his position to conclude secret agreements with gangs ransomware, drug dealers and identity thieves to help them launder money. Accused of money laundering and operating an unauthorized money services business in the United States, he will be tried in court for the Northern District of California.
For the American authorities, the extradition of the former director of the crypto exchange to their country is a victory; a victory that puts an end to the showdown between them and their Russian counterparts. Indeed, Russia, considering the nationality of the respondent, wanted him to be tried on Russian territory in accordance with the legal provisions of the country. But it was ultimately the Americans who prevailed.
Thursday, in front of CNN cameras, Frédéric Bélot, Alexander Vinnik’s lawyer in France, said that his client continues to proclaim his innocence. He added that he was on a plane from Greece to the United States. The defendant will make his first appearance in court for the Northern District of California.
Feedback on the closing of the crypto exchange
In 2017, Vinnik was arrested in Greece and then extradited to France where he received a sentenced to 5 years in prison in 2020. The motive was this: money laundering. However, Mr. Vinnik has also been indicted in the United States since 2017. The United States then took various actions to ensure that the defendant was tried in American courts.
As a reminder, the BTC-e crypto exchange closed its doors in 2017, when it had a very flourishing activity before the intervention of the Treasury Department. The institution had imposed a $110 million penalty on the digital asset exchange for having “deliberately violated US anti-money laundering laws”. In addition, she imposed a $12 million tax on Vinnik.
Alexander Vinnik is no longer free to move. Indicted for participation in money laundering, the former director of the BTC-e crypto exchange is currently in the hands of American justice. The authorities extradited him from Greece to stand trial on American soil.
Source : CNN Publishing
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