US authorities plan to fine Russian cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e up to $110 mln for flouting anti-money laundering (AML) laws.
The news from the Department of Justice (DoJ) comes as BTC-e, which has been down for “unplanned maintenance” for two days, said it intends to resume operations.
Separately, Alexander Vinnik, an alleged owner of BTC-e arrested in Greece July 25 on $4 bln money laundering charges is suspected of having links to the Mt. Gox hack in 2013.
“FinCEN today assessed a $110 mln civil money penalty against BTC-e for willfully violating US anti-money laundering (AML) laws,” a statement from the DoJ reads.
“Alexander Vinnik was assessed $12 mln for his role in the violations.”
Taking down exchanges?
While the US has no legal jurisdiction over BTC-e as a non-native business, it is still seeking a penalty for its operations covering US territory.
“Everything else you are reading about their involvement with this and that is just the narrative to justify taking down exchanges,” a Reddit post introducing the DoJ document added.
“The above is the only thing that means anything. That's what this whole thing is really about.”
The exchange meanwhile tweeted yesterday it could be back online within “5-10 days” after work on “resuming its service” was completed.