There are many scams happening in the crypto industry, especially BTC. If an investor is not careful, he will fall prey to cyber criminals posing as legitimate projects or platforms. Sometimes some exchanges can run into problems and cause huge losses for investors. This was the case with WEX, BTC-e and other exchanges that caused people to lose money.
Vinnik is a Russian citizen known as a BTC-e-operator, one of the first Bitcoin exchanges. The exchange is connected to the hack of Mount Gox, the first Bitcoin exchange with a 744,408 BTC attack.
However, there was no recovery for the stolen money and the exchange was closed in 2014. Vinnik for his part never accepted to run BTC-e but said he was a staff of the exchange.
However, in 2017, the US authorities closed the BTC exchange and seized the servers. Vinnik was arrested while staying with his family on a beach in Greece. Since his arrest, there has been towing between the three countries, the US, Russia and France. They compete for Vinnik’s extradition, each raising different charges against him.
A report from CNN announced the extradition of Alexander Vinnik, a crypto exchange operator, from Greece to the United States. The crypto exchange operator has been detained in France, but its French lawyer, Frederic Belot, announced his extradition.
After several attempts to extradite Vinnik, the US authorities canceled their request a few weeks ago. If the request is cancelled, Vinnik could be moved to Greece and then to the United States.
In 2020, a California court indicted Vinnik with charges of several criminal offences. These include ransomware scams, computer break-ins and hacking, narcotics distribution rings, identity theft schemes, and corrupt officials.
France sentenced Vinnik to 5 years in prison for BTC fraud
France succeeded later in 2020 when it got Vinnik, and a French court sentenced him to 5 years in prison. Vinnik was charged with money laundering. But other charges such as conspiracy, extortion and interfering with automatic data processing systems were dropped. The Paris Court of Appeal also upheld the prison sentences.
Vinnik’s lawyer, Belot, did not explain the legal mechanism that the US authorities applied during their extradition request. However, he said that if the US withdraws its request, it would reactivate Greece’s request.
The launch of WEX, an offspring of crypto exchange, took place several months after the shutdown of BTC-e. WEX had its trading pairs and website design quite similar to BTC-e. It had gained access to BTC-e’s user base. It also promised that it would gradually refund all their losses to BTC exchange users before shutting down the platform.
In the summer of 2019, WEX ceased its activities. Users complained about recording problems. They also noticed that the price of BTC went higher than what other exchanges were offering.
In addition, the CEO of WEX, Dmitri Vasiliev, was repeatedly arrested in various countries. These include Croatia, Italy and Poland.
Featured image from Pixabay, chart from TradingView.com