Paris: Court sentences Alexander Vinnik to five years in prison

Years after his arrest, Vinnik has now been convicted.

After years of debate over extradition, the Bitcoin (BTC) washer Alexander Vinnik has now been convicted by a French court.

According to a report by Novaya Gazeta on Monday, Vinnik was sentenced to five years in prison and an additional fine of €100,000 for „money laundering by an organised criminal group and providing false information about the origin of the proceeds“.

According to the BBC, the court has partially dropped the Bitcoin Superstar charges against the ransomware Locky. By the time of going to press it was unclear whether Vinnik’s conviction was related to his alleged leadership of the former crypto exchange BTC-e.

Vinnik previously denied his involvement in BTC-e, claiming that he was only an employee. He said that his monthly salary at BTC-e was €10,000.

As previously reported, Vinnik is the alleged mastermind of an international money laundering scheme in which over $4 billion was transacted through BTC-e.

Vinnik, known as „Mr. Bitcoin“, was first arrested in Greece in July 2017 for allegedly being involved in the operation of BTC-e. Since the arrest, several countries have requested Vinnik’s extradition. These include the United States and Russia, of which he is a citizen. Vinnik was then extradited to France in 2018 for fraud and money laundering.

In June the New Zealand police confiscated USD 90 million in connection with the Vinnik case.

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