Prosecutors in France are petitioning to start the trial of the Russian digital currency money laundering suspect Alexander Vinnik. Authorities accused Vinnik of founding BTC-e, an exchange that reportedly facilitated the laundering of billions of dollars for cybercriminals. Vinnik was arrested in Greece two years ago at the request of the US authorities. Alexander Vinnik is wanted in three countries, France, the US, and his homeland of Russia, all who wanted to have him extradited to face charges in their courts. Greece finally decided to extradite him to France first, with the US and Russia next.
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Prosecutors seek to start the trial against Vinnik.
Prosecutors are now petitioning to start the trial against the money laundering suspect Vinnik. According to French weekly news magazine L’Express, prosecutors in the French capital filed a petition to start the lawsuit against the 40-year-old. Vinnik was extradited by a Greek court to France earlier this year despite the Russian government’s requests to have him returned to his homeland. Upon arrival, the French prosecutors interrogated and later charged Vinnik with extortion and aggravated money laundering. They also charged him with harming automatic data-processing systems for his role in now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e.
Vinnik will face charges for his alleged links to Locker ransomware.
The Russian resident, who is alleged to be the mastermind behind the crypto exchange BTC-e, came under investigation over his alleged links to Locker ransomware. According to L’Express, French authorities opened a probe in 2016 following ransomware reports that were encrypting victims’ data and demanding BTC payments. The French authorities claimed that Vinnik was linked to the group behind that particular malware, which caused over €135 million in losses to French citizens. The accused faces less severe charges back in his come country, where he will be extradited to later.