The alleged infamous Russian bitcoin fraudster, 41-year-old, Alexander Vinnik, has earlier today been charged as an accomplice and a key mastermind to the bitcoin extortion scheme, that had many victims lose up to a total of 132 million Euros in France.
A report has it that Alexander Vinnik was arrested in Greece where he went for a summer holiday. After several battles for his extradition among 3 countries, including the US, Russia, and France, the Greek federal government agreed to follow a protocol of having his first extradition to France, which would be followed by the US, then in Russia.
It is however reported that Alexander has not proven guilty of the infamous BTC-e fraud yet, he has constantly claimed that he was just doing his job as a technical assistant in the BTC-e that had been shut down by the US government for fraud. He added that the fraudulent operations might have proceeded at his oblivion, claiming that he had no illegal intentions.
According to France, it has been alleged that Vinnik was a co-creator of a ransom malware called “Locky.” This malware had been targeted to France’s business corporations and local councils. Upon the download of the malware, the victims had their access to their data withheld and were only given the option of paying a ransom to have their access enabled.
Similar charges have as well been filed by the US and Russia. The US feds filed an indictment against Mr. Vinnik for fraudulently laundering US dollars, worth billions in the form of BTC-e. Vinnik spent at least 2 years in the custody of the Greece government as the US and Russian governments fought for his extradition.
In the custody of the French government, Vinnik declared a hunger strike. Although his attempts were not futile, he demanded his extradition to Russia to face his trial there. It has been reported that Russia has recently faced fewer incidences of crypto-related crimes, therefore, it is possible that they have not created robust regulations governing cryptocurrency fraudulent acts, therefore, it is expected that Vinnik might face fewer charges in Russia for the same.