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French court sentences BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik to 5 years



A court of appeals in Paris has upheld the five-year jail time period within the case in opposition to BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik.

The court upheld a December 2020 verdict and jail sentence, discovering that Vinnik/BTC-e had dedicated cash laundering as a part of an organized legal group, and offered false details about the origin of the proceeds.

The Parisian court dismissed a number of requests from Vinnik’s protection staff, together with asking to look at copies of the proof offered by the FBI. The court additionally exempted Vinnik from a advantageous of 100,000 Euros which initially accompanied the December sentence.

Vinnik was initially charged with defrauding practically 200 folks utilizing ransomware, however the court cleared him of the malware assault costs in December. The prosecution service had requested for a smaller advantageous, expressing doubts that he would have the option to pay out the victims of his crimes, in accordance to Russian state information outlet TAAS.

The protection staff plans to file a cassation attraction inside 5 days as required by French regulation.

The Russian laptop specialist was initially detained whereas vacationing in Greece throughout July 2017 on the request of the USA. He’s accused by the U.S. of laundering greater than $4 billion whereas working the now-defunct crypto change BTC-e.

In January 2020, Vinnik was extradited to France, the place he was sentenced to 5 years in jail in December. Vinnik’s lawyer, Frédéric Bélot, fears that Greek authorities might want him returned to Greece after the sentence to face extradition to the USA on comparable costs.

Russia has additionally filed an extradition request citing humanitarian grounds. After Vinnik went on starvation strike in Greece in November 2018, Russian human rights ombudswoman, Tatiana Moskalkova, sought the help of the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights to vouch for Vinnik to be returned to Russia. On the time, she emphasised the deteriorating well being of each Vinnik and his spouse, who had been recognized with mind most cancers.

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Nonetheless, it has been reported that Russia’s extradition request could also be motivated by stopping delicate knowledge concerning its intelligence operations from falling into the palms of overseas adversaries, with some analysts suggesting Russian intelligence companies might have used BTC-e to purchase Bitcoin for categorized operations.

If extradited, Vinnik would face the lighter costs of “fraud in the field of computer information” in Russia.

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