Operator Of BTC-e Crypto Exchange Denied Bail In US

ByEdward Thompson

Aug 16, 2022

The alleged operator and owner of the notorious crypto exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik had recently been transferred from Greece to the United States.

He was not permitted to be released on bail in the US, but has denied the charges of large-scale money laundering that were filed against him, along with other crimes.

No bail

According to Russian media reports, IT specialist Vinnik has been denied release on bail by the authorities in the United States.

He is currently incarcerated in California in the Santa Rita Jail. A little more than a week earlier, Vinnik had been hastily extradited to the US from Greece.

This move had made his international defense team extremely angry. A US warrant had been used to arrest the crypto entrepreneur in the summer of 2017.

The arrest was made in the city of Thessaloniki in Greece where he had arrived for a family vacation. In late 2019, Greek authorities had sent him to France for serving a five-year sentence for money laundering.

A request had been put in by authorities in the US to get Vinnik from France, but they withdrew it in July, which accelerated his transfer from Greece.

The latter had already given approval for Vinnik’s extradition to the US.


The decision of handing him over to the American authorities so quickly had resulted in a protest from his lawyers.

They said that the crypto entrepreneur had applied for asylum in Greece, as they warned that he was likely to become a ‘hostage’ in the US.

They cited the geopolitical situation associated with the military conflict currently taking place in Ukraine, which had been invaded back in February by Russian forces.

The information about not allowing his release on bail was posted on the online inmate locator of the prison, but it did not disclose when the decision had been made.

Not guilty

In his first hearing, the accused had decided to plead not guilty and pledged his innocence. The hearing had been scheduled on August 5th, Friday and the next was to happen on August 15th.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced Vinnik’s extradition last week. The indictment said that the crypto exchange he ran had processed transactions associated with numerous criminal activities.

This included the drug trade, ransomware attacks, and the Mt Gox hack. Now, the Russian is facing charges, including several counts of money laundering worth $4 billion.

Another report disclosed this week that the Russian Federation’s Embassy in Washington was trying to get in touch with Vinnik over the phone.

The head of the Consular Department, Nadezhda Shumova said that Russian diplomats would offer their compatriots all the required legal and consular assistance.

Russia had also filed an extradition request for the crypto entrepreneur, which had been ignored by both France and Greece.

He has also been accused in Russia of embezzling about 600,000 rubles and fraud worth 750 million rubles. Previously, Vinnik had admitted that he wanted to return to his homeland for facing justice.

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