Greek Court Approves US Extradition Of Suspected BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik

Posted October 05, 2017

Vinnik was arrested while on vacation in northern Greece in July.

Vinnik was wanted by US Department of Justice, with one of largest cyber-crime websites and charges of about $4 billion in money laundering through virtual currency "bitcoin" since 2011.

Vinnik, who faces up to 55 years in prison if extradited to the United States, denies all charges against him, saying he was a technical consultant to BTC-e and not its operator.

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Earlier in the day, a Greek court in Thessaloniki ruled to satisfy a U.S. request for the extradition of Vinnik on charges of money laundering.

Russia's bid to have Vinnik extradited back home has yet to come before a court.

Each of the accused faces a maximum punishment of more than 50 years in federal prison if convicted on all counts - an outcome made increasingly likely after the courts recently rejected extradition requests filed by Russian Federation and agreed to send the accused stateside pending appeal.

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Alexander Vinnik, a 38 year old Russian man (C) suspected of running a money laundering operation using bitcoin, is escorted by a police officer to a court in Thessaloniki, Greece, October 4, 2017. They say Vinnik "obtained" funds from the hack of Mt. Gox and laundered them through BTC-e and Tradehill, another San Francisco-based exchange he owned.

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.

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

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"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.