Russian Head of $4B Bitcoin Exchange Charged in Massive Money Laundering Scheme

A grand jury in the Northern District of California indicted a Russian man for running a massive money laundering operation through the BTC-e bitcoin exchange, a group of federal officials announced Wednesday.

The exchange allegedly received up to US$4 billion in proceeds from various criminal activities, including the 2014 hack of the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange.

The suspect, 37-year-old Alexander Vinnik, was arrested Tuesday by Greek authorities, and charges in an unsealed indictment were released the following day.

Vinnik was visiting Greece, and U.S. officials were working with Greek authorities on the case, a source familiar with the case told the E-Commerce Times.

Vinnik was charged with operating an unlicensed money service business, conspiracy to commit money laundering, 17 counts of money laundering, and two counts of unlawful monetary transactions.

 

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