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BTC-e Operator Vinnik's Five-Year Prison Sentence Upheld by Court: Report

Vinnik was successful in one aspect: The court exempted him from a fine of 100,000 euros.

Jun 27, 2021 at 5:37 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:17 p.m. UTC

The five-year prison term for Russian Alexander Vinnik, convicted in France on money laundering charges, was upheld by the Court of Appeal of Paris on Thursday, according to a report by TASS.

  • Vinnik, an alleged operator of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, was sentenced last December on the charge of money laundering. Other charges, including “extortion, conspiracy and harming automatic data-processing systems,” were dropped at the time of sentencing.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice named him as a mastermind behind one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges, BTC-e, and indicted him on allegations of “computer intrusions and hacking incidents, ransomware scams, identity theft schemes, corrupt public officials and narcotics distribution rings.” 
  • Vinnik was arrested in Greece in 2017 at the behest of the U.S., prompting a three-way battle among France, Russia and the U.S. for his extradition with France ultimately winning.
  • According to TASS, Vinnik was successful in one aspect this week: The court exempted him from a fine of 100,000 euros (US$119,400). Prosecutors had sought a reduction of the amount due to concerns that Vinnik could not pay it.

CORRECTION (June 27, 21:16 UTC): Corrects conversion of fine into USD.

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