Greece Violates Treaty With Russia by Extraditing Vinnik to US - Civic Chamber

Greek court rules for extradition of Russian hacker Vinnik to USA

Greek court approves US extradition of Russian Bitcoin money laundering suspect

A Greek court cleared the way on Wednesday for the extradition to the United States of a Russian, also wanted by Moscow, suspected of laundering billions of dollars in digital currency bitcoin.

Vinnik, who faces up to 55 years in prison if extradited to the United States, denies all charges against him, saying he was a technical consultant to BTC-e and not its operator.

Russian citizens Pyotr "Peter" Levashov, 36, and Alexander Vinnik, 37, were arrested earlier this year while vacationing in Spain and Greece, respectively, spurring separate but similar extradition battles at the center of this week's rulings.

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However, as reported by the New York Post, a three-judge panel ruled that the us request to extradite Vinnik should be granted.

Vinnik, who managed BTC-e, an exchange he operated for the Bitcoin crypto-currency, was indicted by a USA court in late July on 21 charges ranging from identity theft and facilitating drug trafficking, to money laundering. Russian Federation has also requested his extradition.

Vinnik claimed that he had nothing to do with the BTC-e. While Vinnik denies those charges too, he consents to being returned to Russian Federation.

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In the event that the Supreme Court upholds the decision, Greece's justice minister will have the final say over whether Vinnik's extradition to the U.S. can go ahead, or whether his transfer to America needs to be blocked in favour of Russia's request. USA authorities also accuse him of laundering funds obtained from the 2014 collapse of the Japan-based exchange Mt. Gox. Vinnik is allowed to appeal the decision to the Greek Supreme Court, and he is expected to do so this week.

Speaking after Vinnik's arrest in July, IRS Criminal Investigation chief Don Fort said: "Vinnik is alleged to have committed and facilitated a wide range of crimes that go far beyond the lack of regulation of the Bitcoin exchange he operated".

"Exchanges like this are not only illegal, but they are a breeding ground for stolen identity refund fraud schemes and other types of tax fraud".

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