Paris court sentences Alexander Vinnik to five years in prison

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Paris court sentences Alexander Vinnik to five years in prison

After years of extradition debates, Bitcoin (BTC) launderer Alexander Vinnik has finally been sentenced by a French court.

According to a Dec. 7 report by Novaya Gazeta, Vinnik has been sentenced to five years in prison for “money laundering as part of an organized criminal group and providing false information about the origin of the proceeds” in addition to a fine of 100,000 euro ($121,000).

According to the BBC, the court partially dropped charges related to the ransomware known as Locky. At publishing time, online reports do not specify whether Vinnik’s sentence is related to his alleged senior role at now-defunct crypto exchange BTC-e.

Vinnik previously denied his involvement at BTC-e, reportedly claiming that he was just an employee. He said that his monthly salary at BTC-e amounted to 10,000 euro.

As previously reported, Vinnik is allegedly the mastermind behind an international money-laundering scheme that had processed over $4 billion worth of capital flows through BTC-e.

Colloquially known as “Mr. Bitcoin,” Vinnik was first arrested in Greece in July 2017 for allegedly taking part in the operations of BTC-e. Since the arrest, a number of jurisdictions have sought Vinnik’s extradition, including the United States and Russia, where Vinnik is a citizen. Vinnik was extradited to France in 2018 on charges of fraud and money laundering.

In June 2020, the New Zealand police reportedly recovered $90 million connected to the case against Vinnik.