Russian IT specialist Alexander Vinnik, who convicted guilty in France on money laundering charges, remained to be jail for five years in prison. However, the Court of Appeal of Paris exempted him from a fine of 100,000 euros.
According to a report by the Russian state-backed media TAAS, the Paris court rejected several requests from Vinnik’s defence team. The court eventually upheld the original five-year imprisonment to BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik but exempted him from a fine of 100,000 euros worth $119,400. Earlier, the prosecution service asked for a minor penalty, expressing doubts that Vinnik would pay it to the injured parties.
Vinnick’s lawyer, Frédéric Bélot, worried about another trial from Greek jurisdiction after Vinnik completed his sentences before facing similar charges and extradition to the United States.
Vinnik was arrested in Greece in July 2017, being allegedly involved in money laundering activities. After a legal tug-of-war for two years, Vinnik was extradited to France from Greece at the request of the United States. In January 2020, French authorities filed preliminary charges of extortion and money laundering against Vinnik.
Reportedly, the U.S.-based BTC-e and cybercriminals used BTC-e to launder the profits generated by various criminal activities, including theft, drug crimes, ransomware attacks, corruption, computer hacking, and fraud. The amount involved is as high as 4 to 9 billion USD.
And in December of 2020, the Paris court ruled that Vinnik/BTC-e had found guilty of money laundering as part of an organized crime group. Alexander Vinnik sentenced to prison and a fine.
Earlier, Alexander Vinnik was on a hunger strike to protest against his extradition to France; the U.S., on the other hand, is also actively seeking to extradite Vinnick. Meanwhile, Russia filed an extradition request on humanitarian grounds.
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