Alexander Vinnik, the man who is alleged to have helped launder some of the hacked Mt. Gox Bitcoin, has been hit by a civil case from U.S. authorities in addition to the federal case which has been hanging over him since 2017. The additional suit is aimed at recovering $100 million of the $4 billion worth of BTC he is thought to have stolen from various exchanges, including Mt. Gox, and laundered through BTC-e, an exchange he was heavily associated with. The new civil case, which is being heard in Northern California, sees Vinnik accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act, with the $100 million sought as penalties.
International Arrest Warrants
Vinnik has been in prison since his arrest in northern Greece in July 2017 under several international arrest warrants, where a battle over his extradition has been escalating between the U.S. and Russia – the U.S. claims that Vinnik has links to ‘Fancy Bear’, the name used by one of the Russian operatives that released Democrats’ emails during the 2016 election. Unsurprisingly, Vinnik is vehemently opposed to the U.S. extradition, but his lawyers have said he would not fight extradition to his home country, where he has two warrants outstanding for his arrest.
Vinnik Claims he has Been Framed
Vinnik has denied all charges, telling judges in a recent extradition hearing “I have nothing to do with what I am accused of” and saying in 2018 that “the U.S. is kidnapping Russian citizens through third countries.” Vinnik, who is also wanted by French authorities, appealed for release from prison in April, citing ill health and the fact his incarceration has exceeded the maximum period of 18 months, but this was denied by misdemeanors court. Vinnik claims he has been framed by a fellow Russian and that he is only suspected because his abilities with technology threatened “the sovereignty of banks and the U.S. dollar”.