BTC-e Founder Sentenced To Five Years in Prison for Laundering Ransomware Funds

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    A French judge has sentenced the founder of the now-defunct BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange to five years in prison and a fine of $121,000 for laundering funds for cybercriminals, including ransomware gangs, ZDNet France reported today. From the report: Alexander Vinnik, 41, a Russian national, dodged a bigger sentence after French prosecutors failed to prove that the BTC-e founder was directly involved in the creation and the distribution of Locky, a ransomware strain that was active in 2016 and 2017. “Mr. Vinnik, the court acquitted you of the offenses relating to the cyber-attacks linked to Locky, as well as the offenses of extortion and association to criminal activities, but finds you guilty of organized money laundering,” the judge said when reading the sentence. innik was trialed in Paris this fall after a long and complicated legal battle. He was initially arrested in July 2017 while vacationing in a summer resort in northern Greece. He was taken into custody by Greek police under an international warrant issued by the US for his involvement in running BTC-e, a cryptocurrency exchange that Vinnik founded in 2011, together with fellow Russian national Aleksandr Bilyuchenko. US authorities said Vinnik operated BTC-e as a front company for a money-laundering operation, knowingly receiving funds from hacks and other forms of cybercrime and helping crooks cash out stolen funds into fiat currency. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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