Russian cybercrime suspect pleads guilty in the US, TASS reports

Alexander Vinnik, a Russian suspected cybercriminal who was arrested in Greece in 2017, convicted of money laundering in France three years later and is now awaiting trial in California, has pleaded partially guilty, TASS news agency quoted his lawyer as saying on Saturday . The lawyer, Arkady Bukh, said that as a result of the plea deal he now expected Vinnik to receive a prison sentence of less than 10 years.

“He pleaded guilty to a limited number of charges,” TASS quoted Bukh, adding that Vinnik had been sentenced to life in prison. “The highlight of the negotiations was a deal with the public prosecutor. We expect the prison sentence will be a maximum of ten years.”

Vinnik, accused of laundering more than $4 billion through the digital currency bitcoin, was arrested in Greece in 2017 at the request of the United States, although Moscow has repeatedly demanded he be returned to Russia. He was extradited from Greece to France, where he was sentenced to five years in prison for money laundering, before being deported back to Greece and then to the United States in 2022.

The US Department of Justice has said that Vinnik “allegedly owned, operated and controlled BTC-e, a major cybercrime and online money laundering organization that enabled its users to trade bitcoin with a high degree of anonymity and developed a customer base that was heavily dependent on criminals.” activity.” According to the U.S. Department of Justice website, the maximum penalty for the U.S. charges against Vinnik is 55 years in prison.

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