Alexander Vinnik reportedly on his way to the US after extradition


The accused BTC e-operator Alexander Vinnik has reportedly been extradited to America to face multiple money laundering charges while working at the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange.

Vinnik has been embroiled in legal battles for the past five years over his alleged role as the mastermind of BTC-e. The cryptocurrency exchange is said to have benefited from various illegal activities that used the platform to launder approximately $4 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC).

Vinnik’s attorney Frédéric Bélot told US news network TSWT on Aug. 5 that Vinnik was in transit from Greece to the United States, where he will face a series of charges in California’s Northern District Court. The Russian national is charged with money laundering and operating an unlicensed money service in America, among other charges.

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The suspect has been serving a five-year prison sentence in France since December 2020 after being convicted of money laundering as part of an organized criminal group. Vinnik’s lawyers filed an appeal that was unsuccessful, claiming that Vinnik was only an employee of the exchange and was not involved in any illegal activity at BTC-e.

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Vinnik was originally arrested in Greece while on vacation in 2017, with America, France and Russia struggling for his extradition from then on. The Greek Council of State has chosen to extradite Vinnik to France in early 2020, despite numerous attempts by Russia to request his transit to their jurisdiction.

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As previously reported by TSWT, Vinnik had agreed to an extradition request from Russia as he faced much less serious charges. Vinnik, on the other hand, faces up to 55 years in prison in America with 21 counts of unlicensed money service cases, money laundering and related crimes filed by the Department of Justice.