Alleged Crypto Thief Alexander Vinnik Sent to the U.S.
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Alexander Vinnik – a Russian citizen who was sentenced to five years in a Paris prison a few years ago for crypto crimes – is being sent from Greece to the United States, where he faces trial and a possible conviction for his role in a crypto scam. which could cost investors millions of dollars.
Vinnik is coming to America
Vinnikki has been accused of various hacking and blackmail schemes. He has also been accused of running a multi-billion dollar crypto exchange that ultimately went awry and cost investors all their hard-earned dough. It’s also alleged that Vinnikin has worked with some of the shadiest people in the industry, from ransomware to drug dealers and identity thieves.
In the United States, Vinnik is likely to face sentencing in a Northern California court on charges of money laundering and running an unlicensed money services company in the country.
Vinnik’s predicament has continued for several years. Now in his 40s, his extradition to the United States is seen as a major victory in America, given the battle the country was likely to have with Russia. No doubt something like this will happen again in the coming weeks now that Brittney Griner is being held within the borders of Russia after being sentenced to more than nine years in prison on drug charges.
Vinnik’s lawyer in France, Frederic Belot, said his client is on a plane from Athens, Greece to the United States. Upon arrival, he will make his first official court appearance in Northern California. Belot says Vinnik maintains his innocence and hopes the new legal system will help clear up the situation and his tarnished reputation.
Vinnik originally found work many years ago at a now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange known as BTC-e. While employed by the company, the Russian national is believed to have developed a new type of malware called “Locky”, which was then used to steal up to $150 million in various funds from various digital exchanges around the world. Shortly thereafter, BTC-e disappeared and ceased operations, and Vinnik – while vacationing in Greece – was taken into custody by law enforcement.
This is a long, long ordeal
At the time of his arrest, Vinnik was wanted in several regions, including the United States, France and Russia. France first caught up with him, tried him and finally sentenced him to five years in December 2020.
Locky was allegedly delivered through email servers where unsuspecting users downloaded it. The malware encrypted data and demanded a bitcoin ransom in exchange for access. Between 2016 and 2018 alone, there are believed to have been as many as 20 separate Locky attacks. Additionally, payments were usually requested via BTC-e, which Vinnik apparently worked for at the time.