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Published: Fri, July 28, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Alleged BTC-E Admin Arrested for Laundering $4 Billion in Bitcoin

Alleged BTC-E Admin Arrested for Laundering $4 Billion in Bitcoin

During that entire time, the people behind the company have been completely anonymous. Just 24 hours later, the Russian national was indicted by a US jury as being the operator of BTC-e, a bitcoin exchange used to launder money for drug traffickers and cyber criminals.

Earlier today, Finance Magnates covered the arrest of Mr. Vinnik, who was apprehended on suspicion of running a $4 billion money laundering operation related to illicit business activities with Bitcoin. The U.S. prosecutions coincide with intensified scrutiny of Russian hackers after U.S. intelligence officials determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election using cyber warfare methods to help Donald Trump, something Moscow denies.

"An internationally sought "mastermind" of a crime organization has been arrested", Greek police said. Police stated that he administered "one of the most important websites of electronic crime in the world".

There was no indication Vinnik's case was connected to the USA hacking charges.

Users began scrutinizing the possibility that the man arrested a day before in Thessaloniki could be somehow connected to the problems at the BTC-e exchange soon after the first reports.

The second defendant is named in a superceding indictment made January 17 2017 in which "BTC-E A/K/A CANTON BUSINESS CORPORATION" has nineteen counts including alleged "operation of an unlicensed money services business", "conspiracy to commit money laundering", and seventeen counts of "money laundering".

Superficial appearances on BTC-e.com indicate the website has entered an unplanned maintenance period, and it appears there is intent to bring the popular and - up to now - reliable bitcoin exchange back online.

We are still continue to perform our unscheduled ongoing maintenance. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Perhaps the most famous cyber-attack Vinnik is accused of profiting from is the raid on Mt. Gox, then the world's biggest Bitcoin exchange, which collapsed in 2014 after huge sums of crypto-currency were stolen from its customers.

We won't beat around the bush with it: Vinnik is our chief suspect for involvement in the MtGox theft (or the laundering of the proceeds thereof). WME is also suspected to be involved in the Bitcoinica hack, which also led to the loss of large amounts of bitcoin.

Wizsec spotted some of the stolen keys turning up at BTC-e wallets, and the same wallets were used to launder "coins stolen from Bitcoinia, Bitfloor and several other thefts" between 2011 and 2012.

The charges against Vinnik are still sealed, and are likely to remain sealed as prosecutors attempt to extradite him to the US.

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