The US sues Bitcoin theft suspect from Russia

The US sues Bitcoin theft suspect from Russia

One of BTC-e currency exchange owners, Alexander Vinnik whose extradition from Greece the US is inquiring to face illegal charges, presently face a formal lawsuit in California.

Previously, Vinnik was blamed for stealing Bitcoins from various virtual currency exchanges and now the US makes attempts to recover penalties of $100 million from Alexander and his firm. One legal expert speculated the U.S. is adding a civil suit to get at assets the criminal complaint can’t reach - and to grab assets before they’re gone.

BTC-e is incorporated in Cyprus or Seychelles, or both, prosecutors said in a statement. Users in various places, including northern California, appropriated the exchange to anonymously sell Bitcoin and other digital currencies, according to the statement.

Vinnik was arrested in Greece after the US charged him with managing a digital-currency exchange that supported criminals launder billions of dollars. The exchange handled some Bitcoins traced to Fancy Bear, one of the names used by Russian military secret officers accused of stealing and publishing Democrats’ emails to sway voters in the 2016 elections, according to analyst firm Elliptic.

He’s been jailed since his arrest, fighting the U.S. extradition request. Russia is seeking his extradition too. The Russian news agency Tass reported on July 11 that a court council in Thessaloniki continued Vinnik’s detention by six months. According to Vinnik’s lawyer, Timofei Musatov, he was due to be released July 25.

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