BTC-e owner Alexander Vinnik seeks bail on trial delay

abdelaziz Fathi

Alexander Vinnik, accused of running the infamous crypto exchange BTC-e, argued that he should be released on bail due to delays in court proceedings, according to information posted on a California federal court’s website.

Alexander Vinnik

The Russian IT specialist’s defense team has also requested that all trial-related documents to be submitted within 60 days. Calling the case a “judicial, diplomatic and humanitarian scandal,” the lawyers said prosecutors have not provided the documents required for his trial three months after extradition to the US. Vinnik has been in custody for over 3 months to answer to charges of money laundering through the failed BTC-e exchange.

The defense team is fighting to be released on bail after the US government has failed to uphold its commitments in furthering his court proceedings. In the appeal, the presumed co-founder and operator of the notorious crypto exchange said prosecutors broke their promises to give evidence in this case.

Vinnik faces charges of extortion, money laundering and involvement in a malicious software attack. Furthermore, US authorities said that he was the brain behind the collapse of Japan-based bitcoin exchange, MtGox, after which he laundered the stolen monies through BTC-e and another San Francisco-based exchange called Tradehill. If found guilty, he could receive a sentence of up to 55 years.

The alleged Russian hacker, accused of laundering $4 billion of criminal proceeds through BTC-e, was extradited from Greece to the United States in early August.

In 2021, the Paris’ Court of Appeals sentenced the 43-year-old Russian to five years in prison on money laundering charges. Vinnik’s defence team attempted to appeal the Court’s previous decision in May.

Vinnik is suspected of being one of the brains of Locky, a ransomware strain that hit French businesses and organizations on a large scale between 2016 and 2018. The infamous software had allegedly yielded nearly $160 million for its creators, and then Vinnik laundered the resulting Bitcoin ransom payments through the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange.

This is the latest milestone in a case that spans multiple countries as Vinnik is also wanted in Russia. He was arrested in 2017 in Greece and then was extradited to France in 2020.

Vinnik’s lawyers appealed to the Greek Supreme Court, claiming that there are insufficient indications, let alone evidence against Vinnik, who has been held in custody since his arrest while vacationing in northern Greece.

Additionally, Moscow submitted an extradition request for Vinnik, who denies his country’s accusations of fraud but has consented to its extradition request.

In 2017, Vinnik was arrested near the northern city of Thessaloniki on a US warrant, where authorities want him on several charges of fraud, including laundering stolen funds from the hack of the defunct bitcoin exchange, MtGox.

Vinnik’s arrest coincided with a series of US-initiated operations against Russian hackers after officials claimed that Russia interfered in the US presidential election to help Donald Trump take office, something Moscow denies.

Read this next

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Despite crypto winter, Fastex grabs $23.2 million in Fasttoken token sale

Fasttoken, part of the Fastex web3 ecosystem, has secured $23.2 million in financing through the private and public token sales of its native cryptocurrency Fasttoken (FTN).

Digital Assets

Iran to repay Russian debts in gold-backed stablecoins

A high-ranking member of the Russian parliament confirmed reports that his country was in talks with Iran to create a stablecoin for foreign trade settlements, to replace the dollar, ruble and Iranian rial.

Digital Assets

SEC denies Cathie Wood’s bitcoin ETF for second time

The approval of a regulated crypto derivative is still looking far less likely, as the US regulators have once again denied Cathie Wood’s application for a long-awaited spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Executive Moves

Pavel Spirin promoted to Scope Markets CEO following Rostro acquisition

Belize-based FX and CFDs brokerage Scope Markets has promoted Pavel Spirin to take on an expanded role as the company’s chief executive officer. He replaces the outgoing CEO Jacob Plattner, who has also been a major shareholder since he resigned his position as managing director at GKFX.

Retail FX goes all-in on alternative investing, launches Rare Sneaker Portfolio

“The concept of curated Portfolios means that our members will be able to invest in categories like art, trading cards, royalties, and real estate without needing to become subject matter experts on individual assets.”

Industry News

State Street taps AWS and Microsoft for cloud and infrastructure solutions

“By standardizing and simplifying our technology operating model, we will be able to more quickly deploy client environments and launch new products and services, while continuing to enhance the resiliency of our technology environment and our business operations.”

Institutional FX

Bitpanda launches Investment-as-a-Service business for banks, fintechs, online platforms

“Financial institutions today have to ask themselves how they aim to cater the increasing demand for modern investing solutions. Building these Individually, means a high startup cost, and products that are often outdated before they are even launched.”

Institutional FX

Options expands market data feeds after partnership with Tools for Brokers

“Our integration with ACTIV Financial marked the beginning of a new era in market data availability and infrastructure. Our teams have come together to provide unparalleled, fully managed market data services alongside Options’ global connectivity and infrastructure.”

Industry News

Recruitment in financial services sector buoyant despite planned mass layoffs

“It remains to be seen what impact this will have on hiring levels within the financial services arena this quarter”, said APSCo, regarding the expected mass layoffs within the financial services sector in England & Wales.