French Officials Move to Start Trial of Alleged BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik
The alleged BTC-e operator stands accused of extortion, aggravated money laundering and conspiracy.
French officials have officially started the ball rolling for the trial of Alexander Vinnik, the alleged operator of an exchange said to have laundered millions of dollars for criminals.
- French prosecutors filed a petition to start the lawsuit against Vinnik on Wednesday, according to a news report from L'Express.
- Vinnik was charged on the day he arrived in France in late January after been extradited from Greece.
- He stands accused of extortion, aggravated money laundering, conspiracy, and harming automatic data-processing systems as the chief of the exchange BTC-e, closed by law enforcement agencies in 2017.
- A hot wallet address for BTC-e can be seen on blockchain explorers.
- The platform from Netherlands-based Crystal Blockchain shows that, while now empty, more than 733,000 bitcoin (around $7 billion) has passed through the wallet.
- It has remained inactive since September 2017 – a few months after Vinnik was detained by the Greek authorities.
- Once the French trial has concluded, Vinnik will be extradited to the U.S. and then Russia to face similar charges there.
- Vinnik has maintained he is innocent of all charges.
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