A Greek court has upheld a request to extradite alleged BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik to Russia instead of the US.
Local news media report Wednesday that Vinnik’s extradition summons will now be to Russia to face fraud charges amounting to a comparatively modest 667,000 rubles ($11,500).
The FBI had sought $12 mln in fines from Vinnik, along with a giant $110 mln bill for Bitcoin Exchange BTC-e over failing to meet AML requirements.
In addition, the Russian citizen faces a maximum jail term of 55 years if authorities convict him under US law.
After his arrest in Greece in July, Vinnik, who denies being anything more than a “consultant” to the exchange, lost an initial hearing against his relocation to the US.
Appealing to Russian president Vladimir Putin in an interview last month, it now appears Russia will have the final say over his fate.
“Vinnik has agreed to be handed over to Russia and there’s no reason not to do so,” the Greek prosecutor said.
“I suggest satisfying Russia’s request. Note that there is also a court ruling surrounding extradition to the USA.”
Vinnik had harshly criticized the approach taken by authorities during the same interview. BTC-e has since rebranded and trades under the name WEX.nz.