(credit: Zach Copley)
On Wednesday morning we reported on the arrest of a Russian man suspected of running a $4 billion dollar money laundering scheme. Later in the day, US officials released the indictment against the suspect, Alexander Vinnik.
That indictment reveals that the alleged $4 billion money laundering operation was actually BTC-e, one of the internet’s most popular Bitcoin exchanges. And Vinnik, the feds say, was an owner and operator of BTC-e.

According to the feds, BTC-e didn’t comply with anti-money laundering laws that require financial businesses to collect information about their customers and report suspicious activity to the authorities.

As a result, it became popular with ransomware authors looking to cash in their ill-gotten bitcoins and drug traffickers and other criminals looking to move money around the world.
The feds also suggest that Vinnik was a central figure in the massive bitcoin theft that was a major factor in the downfall of Mt.

Gox, the Japanese Bitcoin exchange that led the market in Bitcoin’s early years.
If those allegations are confirmed, it would lay to rest one of the biggest unsolved crimes in the Bitcoin world.
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