The Paris Court of Appeal upheld a five-year prison sentence in the case of BTC electronic operator Alexander Vinnik.

The court upheld the decision in December 2020 and the prison sentence and found that Vinnik / BTC-e committed money laundering as part of an organized criminal group and provided false information about the origin of the proceeds.

A Paris court denied several requests from Vinich’s defense team, including a request to examine copies of evidence from the FBI. The court also exempted Vinek from the € 100,000 fine that originally accompanied the December decision.

Vinnik was originally charged with robbing nearly 200 people for ransom, but in December a court acquitted him of the malware charges. The prosecutor’s office demanded a smaller fine and expressed doubts about his ability to pay compensation to victims of crimes, according to the Russian news agency TAAS.

The defense team plans to appeal the order within five days, as required by French law.

The Russian computer specialist was initially arrested while on vacation in Greece in July 2017 at the request of the United States. The United States accuses him of laundering more than $ 4 billion during the operation of the now defunct electronic cryptocurrency exchange BTC.

In January 2020, Vinnik was extradited to France, where in December he was sentenced to five years in prison. Vinik’s lawyer, Frederic Bello, fears that the Greek authorities may return him to Greece after being found guilty of extradition to the United States on similar charges.

Russia has also filed an extradition request for humanitarian reasons. After Vinnik went on a hunger strike in Greece in November 2018, Russia’s Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova asked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for help to confirm Vinnik’s return to Russia. At the time, she highlighted the deteriorating health of Vinik and his wife, who were diagnosed with brain cancer.

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However, it was reported that Russia’s extradition request could be motivated by preventing confidential data related to its intelligence operations from falling into the hands of foreign opponents, with some analysts suggesting that Russian intelligence agencies may have used BTC to obtain bitcoins for covert operations. …

If Vinnik is extradited, he will face minor charges such as “computer fraud” in Russia.

Source: CoinTelegraph

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