Greek court backs extradition of BTC-e’s alleged owner to US

Greek court backs extradition of BTC-e’s alleged owner to US

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A Greek court approved the extradition of Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik to the US where he is wanted in connection with a $4 billion bitcoin fraud, reports AP. His lawyers have already appealed the court ruling.

“We have taken immediate action and appealed the ruling and the case will be examined by the criminal division of the Supreme Court,” Vinnik’s lawyer Alexandros Lykourezos said.

Russia is also seeking the extradition of Vinnik on suspicions of fraud, but there is still no date for the court hearing.

Allegedly Vinnik is the owner of the troubled cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, which was shut down by the FBI and its domain seized by US authorities in July. Vinnik was arrested in Greece on a US search warrant in the end of July. He is suspected of fraud and money laundering. The US authorities think that Vinnik has also received funds “from the infamous computer intrusion or ‘hack’ of Mt Gox.”

Meanwhile, BTC-e denied any connection with Vinnik. It has also launched limited operations in September.

During the court hearing Vinnik also denied any connection to BTC-e and said he was merely a technician providing support for it as one of its clients. “I have nothing to do with what I am accused of,” he told the judges, quoted by AP. He also said his confiscated laptop only contained cartoons for his children and was not related to his work.

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