The famous site BTC-e is involved in money laundering and the owner was arrested on charges of hacking
One of the historic digital currency exchange platforms, BTC-e, was put off-line by law enforcement officers due to a number of alleged crimes by the site and its owner.
For those who (fortunately!) did not know the BTC-e platform and above all did not deposit their crypto currency funds, this is one of the largest sites (located in Russia) where customers can exchange traditional currencies for Bitcoin or other digital currencies such as Ethereum or Dash.
On Wednesday, the US Treasury Financial Crime Network ( FinCEN ) sanctioned BTC-e with $ 110 million as it’s connected to an international crime network devoted to the sale of drugs and ransomware attacks. FinCEN also imposed a $ 12 million on the one who is the real owner of BTC-e, the 38 years old Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, July 26, the US Department of Justice also filed a series of criminal charges, including money laundering, against Vinnik after arresting him in Greece.
The agencies claim that BTC-e, which was founded in 2011, has systematically ignored the provisions that require a formal verification of the customer through the acquisition of identity documents and photo of the customer himself. This has been put into practice by BTC-e in order to satisfy a large number of customers engaged in illegal activities.
According to a press release from the US Department of Justice: “BTC-e .. was consciously linked to crime. It acted not requiring users to validate their identity, obscuring and anonymizing transactions by ignoring anti-money laundering provisions. The allegation states that BTC-e has been working to facilitate cyber criminals transactions worldwide by receiving criminal proceeds from numerous hacking attacks, ransomware scams, identity theft scams, corrupt public officials and international drug traffic.
Instead of preventing money laundering, BTC-e and its operators favored criminal activities even by opening up discussions on their illicit revenues on BTC’s internal chat.
According to other allegations, Vinnik is heavily involved in the Mt. Gox hacking, one of the most popular currency exchanger, closed in 2014 after a series of mysterious robberies.
A message from the BTC-e Twitter account says the site will be under maintenance for a period from five to ten days.