Mr. Bitcoin was extradited to USA: America has achieved it for five years

Almost five years after the arrest in Greece, Russian Alexander Vinnik was extradited in the United States, where he is considered the founder of the once largest Russian-speaking crypto-tank BTC-E. The Russian BBC service writes that during this time he managed to sit in prisons of Greece and France, his lawyer died, falling from the stairs, and his wife died of cancer. In the United States, he faces a 50-year term for laundering at least $ 4 billion.

The French lawyer Vinnik told CNN that from Greece, his client was sent to the United States. Vinnik’s mother confirmed BBC this information.

The US authorities have sought this five years, which Vinnik resisted. BBC journalist talks about the main stages of this confrontation.

In 2017, Alexander Vinnik was arrested on the beach of one of the Greek Peninsula of Chalkidiki, the request for his arrest was sent by the FBI: in the United States he was suspected of creating and administering the BTC-E cryptocurrency exchange, which was part of the ten largest cryptocurrencies from the world from the world a daily turnover of $ 66 million. Since the exchange did not comply with the legislation to launder money, the entire turnover of BTC-E was assigned to the American authorities to illegal. In addition, according to the American authorities, Bitcoins stolen from the once largest Japanese crypto-tank MT.GOX were washed through BTC-E. Vinnik himself says that he only advised BTC-E, although several journalistic investigations show that his involvement in the business of the exchange was deeper.

Vinnik’s defense in the person of Russian lawyer Timofei Musatov chose the tactics to tighten the extradition process in the United States: each decision was appealed to higher authorities, and from prison in Thessaloniki where Vinnik was kept, he was regularly carried to Athens, where the areopagas, the highest cassation The instance of Greece.

In Russia, two criminal cases against a Russian were instituted, in both he was suspected of fraud in Greece, the relevant requests for his extradition, which were satisfied. Own business was also aroused in France. All three requests for extradition – American, Russian and French – were satisfied with the Greece authorities, but the Greek side could not decide for a long time where to send Mr. Bitcoin, as the local press called him. As a result, at the beginning of 2020, Vinnik was sent to France, where he was accused of theft of personal data and extortion and sentenced to five years in prison.

In the summer of 2022, the term for the conclusion of Vinnik in a French prison expired. On August 4, the court in Paris refused to satisfy the request of the American authorities to extradite Vinnik in the United States, but his defense immediately warned that he could be sent there transit through Greece, where there was another current request. So in the end it turned out, although his Greek lawyers met Vinnik directly at the airport. In the United States, he is in combination for more than 50 years: American legislation in the field of money laundering is quite tough.