Economy

Greece delivers Russian crime genius to U.S. & #39

Greece delivers Russian crime genius to U.S. & #39”

Russian Federation is also seeking Vinnik's extradition on separate fraud charges, but no date has yet been set for that hearing.

His lawyers said they plan to appeal today's decision at Greece's Supreme Court, arguing that it was based on "insufficient indications, let alone evidence". Vinnik's lawyers said that he would not contest the Russian request.

Vinnik claims he only worked as a technical consultant for the owners of BTC-e, and was not its operator. The US authorities accuse Vinnik of laundering $4 billion through the BTC-e website he had created, as well as of hacking Mt.Gox, the Japanese bitcoin exchange.

"We hope and expect a better outcome", Alexandros Lykourezos, the lawyer leading Vinnik's defence, told reporters. "I am neither its owner, nor its manager, or accountant".

According to U.S. authorities, Vinnik "stole identities, facilitated drug trafficking, and helped to launder criminal proceeds from syndicates around the world".

Greek police branded Vinnik "an internationally sought mastermind of a crime organisation". "It was just one of my clients", the accused said at the beginning of the session.

In August, US attorney Brian Stretch said: "Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin provide people around the world new and innovative ways of engaging in legitimate commerce".

The US indictment charged Vinnik with one count of operation of an unlicensed money service business, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 17 counts of money laundering and two counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.

Since his arrest, the Kremlin has requested that he be sent back to Moscow, as it has with a number of other alleged Russian hackers wanted by the USA who have been arrested in different countries around the world this year.



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