Accused BTC-e mastermind Alexander Vinnik has now been extradited to the U.S. to face multiple charges of money laundering related to the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange.
According to reports, accused BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik has been extradited to the United States to face various counts of money laundering while employed by the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange.
Due to his claimed involvement in the creation of BTC-e, Vinnik has been involved in legal disputes for the past five years. According to reports, the cryptocurrency exchange made money from a number of illegal activities that used the site to launder $4 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC).
In a statement to CNN on August 5, Vinnik’s attorney Frédéric Bélot said that Vinnik was traveling from Greece to the United States, where he will be prosecuted on a slew of allegations in the Northern District Court of California.
In addition to other allegations, the Russian national is accused of running an unauthorized money service in America and of money laundering.
About Vinnik’s case
After being found guilty of money laundering as a member of an organized criminal gang in France in December 2020, the defendant has already started serving a five-year sentence there.
Vinnik’s attorneys had filed a failed appeal, arguing that Vinnik was merely a member of the exchange’s staff and had no part in any illegal actions at BTC-e.
Vinnik was initially detained in Greece while on vacation in 2017, and from that point on, the United States, France, and Russia fought for his extradition.
Despite multiple attempts by Russia to request Vinnik’s transit to their jurisdiction, Greece’s Council of State decided to extradite him to France in the early 2020s.
Vinnik had consented to an extradition request from Russia, as previously reported, considering that he was facing much less serious allegations.
In contrast, Vinnik is facing up to 55 years in jail in America after the Department of Justice filed 21 counts against him for unlicensed money service businesses, money laundering, and related offenses.