Multiple Complaints Filed On Unlicensed BTC-e By US Prosecutors For Conspiracy, Money Laundering

  • The primary accused — Alexander Vilink — was allegedly claiming to be the owner of BTC-e and even sent out emails to his clients assuring that he would allow them to launder their funds without being caught by the government.
  • Vilink is currently serving a prison sentence in Greece. Not only that, he is also facing fresh new charges related to money laundering by the US Treasury Department — as a result of which, he might have to face a longer imprisonment term.

As per an all-new court document made available by the Northern District of California, US prosecutors have filed a formal complaint against BTC-e — a crypto exchange that is now defunct — as well as its alleged owner Alexander Vinnik. Additionally, a closer look at the filing shows us that the FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) determined late last year that the penalties that need to be levied on BTC-e and Vinnik should be around $88 million and $12 million, respectively. This is because Vinnik did not register his trading platform with the regulatory body and also failed to implement a number of Anti-Money Laundering practices that are required these days.

Back in 2016, BTC-e and Vinnik were charged with running an unlicensed money services business.

Similarly, the following year, a jury issued another indictment that contained additional charges related to money laundering against Vinnik.

The aforementioned court document clearly shows that the exchange did not follow through with the required identity checks required to facilitate monetary transfers ranging above a certain amount. If that wast enough, the report also states that BTC-e was used by criminals for their liquidation-related activities.

Some of the miscreants who made use of BTC-e on a regular basis used the platform to facilitate nefarious activities like hacks, ransomware payments, identity theft, and drug deals.

More On The Matter

For those of our readers who may not be aware, Vinnik is a citizen of Russia who is currently serving a sentence in Greece for his role with BTC-e as a senior management official. Now, the US Department of Treasury too is indicting him (as well as his exchange) on fresh new charges related to money laundering — it is being alleged that Vinnik sent out a number of emails in which he claimed to be the owner of BTC-e.

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