Vinnik’s lawyer appeals towards 5-year jail sentence
Alexander Vinnik’s defense team, a suspected Bitcoin launderer who was sentenced to five years in prison, disagrees with the court’s decision.
According to a December 18 report by the Russian news agency Kommersant, Vinnik’s lawyer Frederic Belot has appealed the French court’s ruling, arguing that the accused was not involved in any money laundering.
Citing a December 6 ruling indicting Vinnik of “money laundering as part of an organized criminal group”, Belot stressed that no “criminal group” was made up of one person. “The court has not given a single name that allegedly belongs to this group,” said Belot.
According to Belot, Vinnik was more of a victim of his anonymous “employers” at the now closed crypto exchange BTC-e, as his involvement in the administration of the platform was not proven: “Vinnik was only a full-time trader and he wasn’t at least consciously involved Participate in money laundering activities, ”Belot explained.
Vinnik’s defense expects the court to hear the appeal in four months, Belot noted. Lawyers also argued that the Paris court’s ruling was based on an investigation that was disrupted by US intelligence agencies. According to the report, Vinnik faces a 50-year prison sentence in the United States if extradited.
Colloquially known as “Mr. Bitcoin, ”Vinnik is the convicted creator of a global illicit system that laundered over $ 4 billion worth of capital flows through BTC-e. More than three years after his arrest in Greece, Vinnik’s trial finally took place in early December 2020. Vinnik previously denied his stake in BTC-e, claiming he was just an employee of the company.