US authorities have extradited the alleged operator of BTC-e, an illicit cryptocurrency exchange, from Greece to the US for criminal proceedings. Authorities in the US had charged the 42-year-old Russian citizen in 2017, after which Greece law enforcement had arrested him at the request of the US government.
The defendant and his co-conspirators allegedly operated BTC-e, an entity involved in online money laundering by allowing its users – mostly criminals – to trade anonymously in bitcoin. These transactions occurred all over the world and involved illicit proceeds from (or funds to facilitate) identity theft schemes, bribery, drug trafficking, ransomware scams, computer hacking, etc. BTC-e allegedly received bitcoin worth over $4 billion during its operation.
US authorities have alleged that BTC-e had not registered to operate as a money services business, lacked AML procedures, and evaded mandatory KYC requirements. The defendant and BTC-e have been charged with operation of an unlicensed money service business and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The defendant has further been charged with money laundering and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Source: US Department of Justice