Alexander Vinnik is a man many countries want. The Bitcoin scammer was in prison in Thessaloniki, Greece. Greek court accepted to extradite the Russian National to Russia, but the problem is that they had previously agreed to extradite him to France. The other conflict of interest arises from an arrest warrant issued by the United States.
The 38-year-old Russian is a computer programmer and is facing charges connected to a $44b money laundering scheme.
The scheme ran through a crypto exchange by the name of BTC-e. BTC-e operated between 2011 and 2017 and traded in Euros, Rubles and the dollars against several digital currencies.
Before 2015, BTC-e is said to have been controlling about 3% of all Bitcoin transactions. However, the exchange had associations with many criminal transactions worldwide. Vinnik was potentially one of the beneficiaries and had several accounts linking to the exchange. Other reports indicat that Vinnik was the primary owner of the mother company, Canton Business Corporation.
According to investigators of this case, “Mr. Vinnik is alleged to have committed and facilitated a wide range of crimes that go far beyond the lack of regulation of the bitcoin exchange he operated. Through his actions, it is alleged that he stole identities, facilitated drug trafficking, and helped to launder criminal proceeds from syndicates around the world.”
Involvement In The Hack Of Mt. Gox
Claims say Vinnik is part of the team of the criminals hacking Mt.Gox. The exchange was potentially holding about 630,000 bitcoins before declaring bankruptcy post-hack. After the hack, about 300,000 BTC is said to have gone through Vinnik’s accounts. If Vinnik ends up in the US, then he will face a 55-year jail term and a $12 million fine. His exchange, BTC-e, is already facing a fine of $110 million.
Greek courts previously approved an extradition to France after the country claimed that Vinnik had defrauded more than 100 people. On the other hand, Russia claims that he should come home for trial. Russia alleges that there was a plan to murder Vinnik in Greece this year.
Vinnik has been denying any involvement in fraud. He maintains he was following all the rules and regulations of the United States. The decision of his next destination is incomplete. However, whichever country he arrives in will likely see him end up in jail.