The United States Department of Justice has presented charges against two men he believes responsible for hacking $400 million from the defunct Bitcoin exchange (BTC), Mt. According to the ad, Alexey Bilyuchenko, 43 years old, and Alexander Verner, of 29, they allegedly conspired to launder 647,000 BTC they stole from Mt. Gox by hacking the exchange’s servers.
Bilyuchenko is also accused of conspiring to operate the BTC-e exchange, what was it closed in 2017 due to allegations of money laundering.
The DOJ unsealed charges related to the 2011 hack of the cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox and the operation of the illicit cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e.
Alexey Bilyuchenko, 43, and Aleksandr Verner, 29, both Russian nationals, are charged with conspiring to launder approximately…
—db (@tier10k) June 9, 2023
Prosecutors say the hack took place over more than a year, from September 2011 to at least May 2014. During this time, the two men allegedly gained control of a Mt. Gox server. Subsequently, they proceeded to make periodic transfers of BTC from Mt. Gox to personal accounts, until the “vast majority” of the clients’ BTC had been drained from the exchange.
After getting hold of these Bitcoin, the men tried to sell them through another exchange they controlled. To facilitate these sales, the two men signed an allegedly fraudulent contract with a Bitcoin brokerage company located in New York. The brokerage firm bought the stolen BTC from the hackers by sending wire transfers to various bank accounts in tax havens. The bitcoins remained in the hands of the exchange of the alleged hackers, but they were deposited in the account of the brokerage company.
The announcement does not say if BTC-e was the exchange used in the fraudulent operation, instead, it refers to the exchange used as “Exchange-1”. Prosecutors claim the duo received approximately $6.6 million for the operation.
Mt. Gox was one of the first major cryptocurrency exchanges. It filed for bankruptcy in March 2014 after claiming the hack made it insolvent.
BTC-e operated from 2011 to 2017. In 2017, the FBI liquidated part of its cryptocurrencies, claiming that the funds had been obtained through money laundering. BTC-e founder Alexander Vinnik is currently serving a sentence for his relationship with the platform. In May, Vinnik’s lawyer tried to free him as part of a prisoner exchange with the Russian Federation.
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