According to the Russian news agency Kommersant report, Vinnik’s attorney, Frederic Belot, appealed to the French court’s judgment, arguing that the defendant was not involved in any money laundering operations. Citing a December 6 judgment charging Alexander Vinnik for “money laundering as part of an organized criminal group,” Belot emphasized that no “criminal group” consists of one person. “The court did not name a single name even supposedly belonging to this group,” the lawyer reportedly said. Bitcoin casino is also allegedly used to launder money.
Lawyers claim Vinnik did not participate in any money laundering operations.
According to Frederic Belot, Vinnik was rather a victim of his anonymous “employers” at now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e, as his involvement in managing the platform has not been proved: “Vinnik was just a full-time trader, and he did not participate, at least consciously, in any money laundering operations,” the lawyer declared. Vinnik’s defense expects the court to hear the appeal in four months, he further noted. Lawyers also argued that the Paris court’s judgment was based on an investigation subject to interference from United States intelligence agencies.
Vinnik was arrested in Greek at the US government’s request.
The alleged bitcoin launderer Alexander Vinnik previously requested his extradition to his home country Russia where he would reportedly face lesser charges involving defrauding victims out of $11,000. Russian officials fought hard to get Vinnik back to his home country, but the Greek Court extradited him to France to face many severe charges. After his trial in France concludes, Vinnik could be returned to Greece to face extradition to the United States, where authorities reportedly want to question him regarding his connection to the infamous hack of Mt. Gox. Some of the Bitcoin from BTC-e may have come from the now-defunct Japanese crypto exchange.