Bitcoin fraud and money laundering suspect Vinnik charged by US grand jury

The Russian mastermind, Alexander Vinnik, has been arrested in Greece. He is accused of laundering more than $4bn in bitcoins, including funds obtained from the hack of failed bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.

Vinnik was described by the justice department as the operator of BTC-e, an exchange used to trade the digital currency bitcoin since 2011.

Mt Gox was a Japan based Bitcoin exchange, which was once the largest of its kind, was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2014 after a hack which stole about 850,000 Bitcoins – worth millions at the time.

Local media reports say that Greece will soon begin negotiations with the US about Mr Vinnik’s extradition. If convicted in the US, Mr Vinnik could face up to 20 years in prison on the money laundering charges.

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