DOJ charges Russian nationals with laundering bitcoin in 2011 Mt. Gox hack

The US Department of Justice has announced charges against two Russian nationals for their alleged involvement in the 2011 hacking of Mt. Gox, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges at the time. Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner are accused of laundering approximately 647,000 bitcoins connected to the heist. The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years for conspiracy to commit money laundering in the Southern District of New York, while Bilyuchenko faces charges of running the notorious Russian cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e that could result in up to 25 years in prison. The pair are said to have infiltrated the server storing Mt. Gox’s crypto wallets before transferring customers’ bitcoins to accounts they controlled and laundering them to accounts in crypto exchanges controlled by the group. The group is also accused of transferring $6.6 million to offshore bank accounts controlled by Bilyuchenko, Verner and their co-conspirators. US Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. stated that the indictments demonstrate the justice department’s commitment to bring bad actors in the crypto ecosystem to justice.

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