Bitcoin Site Fined $110 Million for Money Laundering, Owner Arrested for Hacking
Bitcoin site – BTC-e one of the oldest digital currency exchanges. On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said a $110 million fine against BTC-e for facilitating crimes. A separate $12 million fine against its owner, Alexander Vinnik. A series of criminal charges, including conspiracy and money laundering, against him after snatching him up in Greece.
BTC-e is base in Russia and has long serve as a forum where users can exchange traditional currencies for bitcoin. The domain name of btc-e is seize by the US government.
The agencies claim BTC-e, which was founded in 2011, blatantly ignored “know your customer” laws in order to cater to a criminal customer base. They even hosted message boards buzzing with illegal activities. According to a Justice Department press release:
Instead of acting to prevent money laundering, BTC-e and its operators embraced the pervasive criminal activity at the exchange. Users openly and explicitly discussed criminal activity on BTC-e’s user chat.
The charges against Vinnik also accuse him of helping to orchestrate the hack of Mt. Gox. It is the most popular digital currency exchange, but shut down in 2014. following a after a massive series of mysterious robberies.
Wednesday’s news comes as a reminder that, even as mainstream investors like hedge funds and venture capitalists rush to acquire digital currencies. Many of the currencies core users are still criminal networks.
August 11, 2017. As for BTC-e, a message from its Twitter account says the site will be down for five to 10 days. though many on social media are speculating its gone for good.
Quick update December 21, 2017. Until now btc-e is still close. The members that have cryptocurrencies in the site still don’t know if their money would be return. If you open the site btc-e.com the logos of the US government can be seen.