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Financial Crimes Enforcement Network demands multimillion fines from BTC-e and Alexander Vinnik

27 July 2017 21:00, UTC

The indictment of the U.S. Government against the cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e has been released to public. The collapse and now seemingly permanent offline status of this exchange is being actively discussed during the last 2 days.

BTC-e and one of its alleged owners are fined $110 million, the reason being various violations of Bitcoin exchange procedures.

The indictment, published on 26 July 2017, consisting of 21 items, also contains the information regarding the involvement of the Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik, arrested in Greece the day before, in crimes connected with Bitcoin-related money laundering which were made with the direct support of BTC-e.

BTC-e is accused of functioning as an information and coordination center for illegally acquired funds, including but not limited to hacker attacks, fraud schemes, extortion, bribing of the officials, and drug trafficking.

The indictment of Alexander Vinnik consists of 19 items, including illicit financial operations and money laundering. The Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed the fine of $12 million, he will face up to 55 years in prison if found guilty.

As declared by Michael D’Ambrosio, the Special Agent in Charge of the USSS Criminal Investigative Division in the statement published on the official website of the U.S. Department of Justice, taking down Alexander Vinnik, who was one of the key figures in BTC-e, is a “significant accomplishment” for all law enforcement organizations who combat the transnational cyber crime.

The Acting FinCEN Director Jamal El-Hindi also added that the Network will continue to terminate all foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and exchange offices that violate the anti-money-laundering laws of the United States.