Russian nationals Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner have been charged with the 2011 hack into major cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox and launder approximately 647,000 bitcoins they stole.

The US Department of Justice also accused Bilyuchenko of conspiring with Russian national Alexander Vinnik to run the unlicensed BTC-e Bitcoin trading platform between 2011 and 2017.

According to unsealed indictmentin September 2011, a group including the two defendants hacked Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange at the time, stealing an estimated 647,000 bitcoins over the next few years.

These were the majority of bitcoins held by exchange customers. Mt. Gox closed in 2014 after the hack was disclosed.

Bilyuchenko, Verner and the other members of the group laundered the stolen bitcoins through various means, including bitcoin addresses associated with their accounts on two additional exchanges and a specific user account on Mt. Gox.

A bitcoin brokerage service known as New York Bitcoin Broker also helped them transfer more than $6.6 million to overseas bank accounts between March 2012 and April 2013 under the guise of a brokerage contract. advertising services.

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants gained unauthorized access to a server used by Mt. Gox to host cryptocurrency wallets,” said Deputy FBI Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll.

“Mt. Gox was at the time the largest bitcoin exchange in the world, and the defendants used their unauthorized access to steal most of the bitcoins held by Mt. Gox customers.”

BTC-e mining costs

An unsealed indictment in the Northern District of California also alleges that Bilyuchenko, along with Alexander Vinnik and others, operated the illicit crypto exchange BTC-e from 2011 until its discontinued in July 2017.

BTC-e has facilitated the transfer, laundering and storage of proceeds of crime for cybercriminals around the world and is said to have helped collect 95% of ransomware payments before being shot.

With over one million users, BTC-e has processed millions of bitcoins in deposits and withdrawals, processing transactions worth billions of dollars.

This exchange has received illicit funds from a variety of sources, including computer intrusions, ransomware attacks, impersonation schemes, corrupt officials, and drug distribution networks.

“For years, Bilyuchenko and his accomplices operated a digital currency exchange that enabled criminals around the world – including hackers, ransomware actors, narcotics rings and corrupt public officials – to launder money. billions of dollars,” said NDCA U.S. attorney Ismail J. Ramsey. .


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