Greek court extradites Russian bitcoin fraud suspect to United States

Brandon Parsons
October 5, 2017

A Thessaloniki court on Wednesday approved a request by U.S. 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.

Russian Federation is also seeking the extradition of Vinnik on suspicions of fraud, but there is still no date for the court hearing. The US authorities accuse Vinnik of laundering $4 billion through the BTC-e website he had created, as well as of hacking Mt.Gox, the Japanese bitcoin exchange. Reuters reports that a Greek court today cleared him to be extradited to the USA, where he could face up to 55 years in prison. A USA warrant lead to his July 25th arrest while he was on vacation in Greece.

Neither Mr. Levashov nor Mr. Vinnik is charged in connection with Russia's alleged election meddling, though the former has insisted he'll be tortured to death if extradited to the authorities interested in details about his former employee, Mr. Putin's United Russia party.

While Vinnik denies all charges laid against him by both countries, he has consented to Moscow's extradition request, but challenged U.S. efforts to have him transferred to America.

Vinnik denies the charges against him, telling the court he served as a consultant rather than an operator for BTC-e, a bitcoin exchange, Reuters reports.

"We have faith in the Greek justice system and a long road ahead of us", said another of Vinnik's lawyers, Xanthippi Moisidou.

Russian Federation also demanded return of Vinnik, which was captured in a hotel near city of Thessaloniki, Greece.

USA prosecutors accuse Vinnik of running BTC-e, a digital currency exchange they say was used to launder huge amounts of dirty money for organised criminal groups.

"Exchanges like this are not only illegal, but they are a breeding ground for stolen identity refund fraud schemes and other types of tax fraud".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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