Russian accused of Bitcoin fraud appeals extradition

A Russian man identified as Alexander Vinnik left is escorted by police officers as he arrives to the courthouse at the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on Wednesday Oct. 4 2017

A US warrant lead to his July 25th arrest while he was on vacation in Greece.

USA authorities accuse Vinnik of running a multibillion-dollar digital-money-laundering network and of involvement in laundering money from criminal proceeds, charges he denies.

The court has not yet set a date for Vinnik's hearing about his request to be extradited to Russian Federation on lesser fraud charges, according to the report.

A court in the Greek city of Saloniki satisfied a USA extradition request for Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik at its hearing on Wednesday.

However, as reported by the New York Post, a three-judge panel ruled that the US request to extradite Vinnik should be granted.

Russia's Prosecutor-General's Office requested Vinnik's extradition to Russian Federation. They say Vinnik "obtained" funds from the hack of Mt. Gox and laundered them through BTC-e and Tradehill, another San Francisco-based exchange he owned.

Russian Federation also demanded return of Vinnik, which was captured in a hotel near city of Thessaloniki, Greece.

USA authorities also linked him to the failure of Mt. Gox, a Japan-based bitcoin exchange that collapsed in 2014 after being hacked.

While Vinnik denies all charges laid against him by both countries, he has consented to Moscow's extradition request, but challenged U.S. efforts to have him transferred to America.

At present, Vinnik's lawyers are appealing to the Greek Supreme Court, claiming that there are "insufficient indications, let alone evidence" against the accused.

"We have faith in the Greek justice system and a long road ahead of us", the Reuters news agency quotes Xanthippi Moisidou, one of Vinnik's lawyers, as saying.

Speaking after Vinnik's arrest in July, IRS Criminal Investigation chief Don Fort said: "Vinnik is alleged to have committed and facilitated a wide range of crimes that go far beyond the lack of regulation of the Bitcoin exchange he operated".

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