Having served his five-year prison sentence in France, Russian IT and crypto specialist Alexander Vinnik is now facing a return to Greece and possible extradition to the United States. A French cassation court has recently dismissed an appeal filed by his defense against the transfer.
On Tuesday, June 28, without any motive or justification, the Court of Cassation issued a decision dismissing the appeal. This was an unexpected and shocking decision.
Alexander Vinnik is now likely to be transferred back to Greece and then to the United States, since Greek authorities have already granted the U.S. request for extradition before sending him to France. The lawyers managed to stop the immediate transfer with another appeal and have also sought help from the European Court of Human Rights.
American prosecutors believe Vinnik has laundered at least $4 billion through the now defunct crypto exchange BTC-e. U.S. investigators also suspect Vinnik of collaborating with Russian intelligence, alleging that part of the digital money that passed through the crypto trading platform could’ve been used to finance Russia’s security forces.
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