A Former Bitcoin Exchange Admin Could Be Key to Mueller’s Russia Investigation
A Russian citizen accused of running a cryptocurrency exchange that helped a billion dollar money laundering operation could be in possession of valuable information that could potentially expose how a group of Russians indicted recently by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller managed to hide their money trail using bitcoin. Bloomberg reports that Alexander Vinnik, who is currently detained in a Greek prison was arrested in 2017 after being accused by US prosecutors of helping illicit money transfers using bitcoin, including transfers linked to a Russian military intelligence hacking unit called Fancy Bear. Officers from Fancy Bear are among the individuals indicted by Mueller of stealing Democratic Party email databases in an attempt to illegally influence the 2016 election. Presently France and the US are fighting to extradite Vinnik on various charges related to cryptocurrency-aided money laundering and cybercrimes against their citizens. Russia is also fighting to have Vinnik extradited to his homeland, presumably in a bid to protect whatever secrets Vinnik may potentially hand over to NATO allies.