Russian suspected of $4bn Bitcoin laundering op to be extradited to US


A Greek court similarly appears to be leaning towards extraditing another Russian cybercriminal, Alexander Vinnik, who is accused of running a $4 billion bitcoin laundering scheme in addition to other cyber crimes, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Russian Federation also submitted an extradition request on separate charges, and Vinnik stated he would voluntarily comply with that request.

Vinnik on Wednesday appealed the decision to extradite him to the US, where he could be facing up to 55 years in prison if convicted by the U.S.

Vinnik, who managed BTC-e, an exchange he operated for the Bitcoin crypto-currency, was indicted by a United States court in late July on 21 charges ranging from identity theft and facilitating drug trafficking, to money laundering.

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While Vinnik denies all charges laid against him by both countries, he has consented to Moscow's extradition request, but challenged United States efforts to have him transferred to America. A three-member panel of judges in Thessaloniki, Greece, similarly decided Wednesday that Mr. Vinnik may be extradited as well, according to The Associated Press.

He has the right to appeal to Greece's Supreme Court.

United States prosecutors accuse Vinnik of running BTC-e, a digital currency exchange they say was used to launder huge amounts of dirty money for organised criminal groups. Instead, Vinnik claims he was simply a technical consultant and BTC-e was one of his clients. US authorities also accuse him of laundering funds obtained from the 2014 collapse of the Japan-based exchange Mt. Gox.

"Through his actions, it is alleged that he stole identities, facilitated drug trafficking, and helped to launder criminal proceeds from syndicates around the world", said IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Don Fort in the DOJ statement.