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

05 October, 2017, 00:50 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Extradition Of BTC e Exchange Operator Approved By Greek Court 1

A Thessaloniki court on Wednesday approved a request by USA authorities for the extradition of a Russian man suspected of using a bitcoin exchange to launder billions of dollars but the suspect appealed to the Supreme Court. Vinnik, suspected of laundering $4 billion worth of bitcoin, was arrested while vacationing in northern Greece in July 2017.

The court has not yet set a date for Vinnik's hearing about his request to be extradited to Russian Federation on lesser fraud charges, according to the report.

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The Russian man faces up to 55 years in prison and a fine of $12 million.

Mr. Levashov is expected to appeal the ruling, Reuters reported, and Mr. Vinnik's attorneys have already filed a formal challenge with Greek's highest court, the AP report said.

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Vinnik, who appealed Wednesday's decision, is accused of running BTC-e - a digital currency exchange used to trade bitcoin - to facilitate crimes ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking since 2011.

Vinnik, a 37-year-old Russian national, has been indicted by a US grand jury on 21 counts related to financial crimes. 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. 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. USA authorities also accuse him of laundering funds obtained from the 2014 collapse of the Japan-based exchange Mt. Gox. No date has been set for that.

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"We have faith in the Greek justice system and a long road ahead of us", the Reuters news agency quotes Xanthippi Moisidou, one of Vinnik's lawyers, as saying.

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