The Vinnik trial for BTC extortion and money laundering started in Paris officially today in court. In our latest cryptocurrency news, we are reading more about the trial.
The Russian national linked to the laundering of $4 billion of BTC stolen during the Mt.Gox hack has finally started his trial in court in Paris. The Vinnik trial for extortion and BTC money laundering starts in Paris but despite the reported links to the 300,000 BTC hack of the exchange back in 2014, prosecutors are focusing on the 135 million EUR ransomware fraud that targeted French businesses and organizations between 2016 and 2018.
The Russian national Vinnik is being charged with extortion and money laundering after 20 victims of the “Locky” malware paid the ransom in BTC over BTC-e, according to the reports by the Associated Press. Vinnik is alleged to be the creators of the malware and the ex-operator of the now-defunct crypto exchange but he claims that he has only been a technical consultant at BTC-e and had no knowledge of any wrongdoing. If he is found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison. Vinnik got arrested in Greece back in 2017 at the behest of the United States authorities.
After that, there was a legal tug of war with the prosecutor from Russia, The United States, and France that all petitioned for his extradition. Vinnik expressed a preference to be extradited to Russia where he faces lesser charges. Earlier this year, the Greek authorities ruled that he will be extradited to France and then to the US and finally to Russia. After his extradition to France, the Russian authorities requested unsuccessfully that he will be allowed to return to his home country under house arrest.
If he gets a trial in the United States, Vinnik will face charges to the connections of the $4 billion hack of Mt.Gox. The stolen funds in the hack were allegedly laundered via the BTC-e exchange and from Vinnik’s personal wallet. As reported, The AFP stated that the French authorities accused Vinnik of defrauding more than 100 people out of $160 million between 2016 and 2018 which gave him the nickname Mr.Bitcoin. Vinnik is accused of laundering 300,000 BTC which is more than $3.4 billion at press time in the course of six years over the crypto exchange BTC-e.
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