Romanian Coinflux Crypto Exchange Founder to Be Sent to US for Crime, Fraud and Money Laundering
International law is tricky and so is an international business, in between the gray areas lies pertinent questions about knowledge and responsibility. Something that the founder of the Romanian crypto exchange Coinflux, Nistor Vlad Calin, is learning about.
What Is The Case
According to reports from a local media source, this week, the courts have confirmed his extradition to the United States.
Calin was arrested in his native country last year, based off a warrant issued in the US for alleged offenses related to organized crime, money laundering and fraud that were orchestrated via his crypto exchange. The warrant was issued after the American secret service was following a case and claims that he aided and abetted in laundering money for criminal activity on US soil.
These allegations have been strenuously denied by Nistor Vlad Calin and his lawyer Anatol Panzaru., who appealed to the Bucharest Court of Appeal on his client's behalf. The lawyer pointed out that his client is being made a scapegoat and that the extradition is going ahead even though there are some conditions of the treaty on judicial cooperation between the two nations that have not been met.
Panzaru has repeatedly claimed that this is a witch hunt as his client had no prior knowledge of these transactions. Furthermore, there was no way for Calin to know that the coins in question were obtained via fraudulent means or sent to bolster nefarious activities. Thus the extradition request should be rejected until these facts are ascertained.
What Are The Chances
It appears the plea might fall on deaf ears based on recent precedent. In December, the Supreme Court of Greece had dealt with a similar case involving the extradition of the supposed operator of the now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik. Vinnik is now to be sent to France for similar money laundering related crimes, from where he is expected to be sent to the US to stand trial.
This is certainly virgin territory for courts, however, these actions have made it clear that businesses need to proceed with extreme prejudice as they will be held liable for, not just their actions but also for any wrongdoings that they might have inadvertently facilitated. Whether this is an overreach or a cautionary approach by law, that is up for debate.