US DOJ charges 2 Russians with laundering over 600k Bitcoin
The DOJ alleged the Russian nationals set up a virtual asset platform, BTC-E, from the proceeds of their Mt. Gox hack.
The U.S. Department of Justice has charged two Russians, Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner, for conspiring to launder 647,000 Bitcoin (BTC) stolen from their hack of Mt. Gox in 2011, according to a June 9 statement.
The DOJ accused them of using their unauthorized access to Mt. Gox servers to transfer BTC to wallets controlled by them and their co-conspirators between 2011 and 2014.
Additionally, the DOJ is charging Bilyuchenko and Alexander Vinnik for conspiring to operate BTC-E. This crypto exchange was shut down in 2017 by the authorities because it facilitated ways for criminals to transfer, launder, and store their criminal proceeds.
The assistant attorney general of DOJ’s criminal division, Kenneth A. Polite, Jr said the accused had used their criminal proceeds from the Mt. Gox hack to begin “the notorious BTC-e virtual currency exchange, which laundered funds for cybercriminals worldwide.”
“These indictments highlight the department’s unwavering commitment to bring to justice bad actors in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and prevent the abuse of the financial system.”
The case would be tried in two jurisdictions, the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and the Northern District of California (NDCA).