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Why the US and Russia Are Fighting Over a Suspected Cybercriminal From Greece - Newsweek

Published 1 year ago

Why the US and Russia Are Fighting Over a Suspected Cybercriminal From Greece - Newsweek

Financial Newsweek via newsweek.com

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Alexander Vinnik, 37, in July, accusing him of masterminding a $4 billion money laundering scheme using the cryptocurrency bitcoin. The Russian’s lawyer, Xanthippe Moyssidou, told the AP that Vinnik was wanted in his homeland on separate fraud charges and that Russia had made an extradition request. Moyssidou said that Vinnik told Greek authorities Tuesday that he would not challenge the Russian request. The request puts Greek authorities in the unenviable position of deciding whether Vinnik should be sent to the United States—which it cooperated with on the suspect’s arrest—or his homeland of Russia. Read more: Russia tells U.S. to stop 'kidnapping' its citizens after latest arrest According to the U.S. indictment, Vinnik owned and operated several accounts with BTC-e, a well-known and popular bitcoin exchange. U.S. authorities charged Vinnik and BTC-e with operating an unlicensed money service business and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and Vinnik alone with 17 counts of money laundering and two counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions. The U.S. Treasury also imposed a $110 million civil penalty against BTC-e for violating U.S. anti-money laundering laws, and a $12 million penalty against Vinnik. Vinnik’s case is the latest in a U.S. crackdown on international cybercrime, a topic that has come in for heightened attention amid allegations by U.S. intelligence officials that Russian hackers interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Coin spectator is an automated news aggregation service. All copyrights belong to their respective owners. Images and text owned by copyright holders are used in reference to and promotion of those respective parties. Read in Full

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