French Judge Orders Trial of Alleged BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik

Vinnik will reportedly face charges including defrauding more than 100 people in six French cities from 2016 to 2018.

AccessTimeIconAug 4, 2020 at 8:17 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:39 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

A Paris judge has officially ordered the trial of alleged BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik to begin.

  • In a report from the Moscow Times on Monday citing AFP, Vinnik's lawyer and others said he will face charges of defrauding more than 100 people in six French cities from 2016 to 2018.
  • Vinnik will also face charges of extortion, aggravated money laundering, conspiracy and harming automatic data-processing systems as the head of the now-shuttered crypto exchange BTC-e, an AFP source said.
  • Billions of dollars' worth of bitcoin passed through BTC-e , some of which was allegedly used to launder money for criminals.
  • Law enforcement agencies moved to halt operations of the exchange in 2017.
  • Later the same year, Vinnik was detained by authorities in Greece and became the focus of a legal tug-of-war involving the governments of Russia, the U.S. and France, all of which were seeking his extradition.
  • On the day Vinnik arrived in France in late January he was immediately charged and prosecutors filed to launch the trial late last month.
  • The suspect, who maintains his innocence, had hoped to be extradited to Russia, where he would face less severe fraud charges for the amount of €9,500 ($11,200).
  • Vinnik is also facing 21 charges from U.S. authorities ranging from money laundering and identity theft to facilitating drug trafficking.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.