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BTC-e digital currency exchange is charged with cybercrime and online money laundering.


An indictment was unsealed on Tuesday charging a Belarusian and Cypriot national with money laundering conspiracy and operation of an unlicensed money services business.

Between 2011 and July 2017, Aliaksandr Klimenka, 42, allegedly controlled BTC-e, a digital currency exchange, with Alexander Vinnik and others. Klimenka also allegedly controlled Soft-FX, a technology services company, and FX Open, a financial company.  Klimenka was arrested in Latvia on Dec. 21, 2023, at the request of the United States and made his initial appearance in San Francisco yesterday. He is currently being held in custody. If convicted, Klimenka faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

The indictment

A US indictment alleges BTC-e was a significant cybercrime and online money laundering entity that allowed its users to trade in bitcoin with high levels of anonymity and developed a customer base heavily reliant on criminal activity.


  • Facilitated transactions for cybercriminals worldwide and received criminal proceeds from numerous computer intrusions and hacking incidents, ransomware scams, identity theft schemes, corrupt public officials, narcotics distribution rings, and
  • Was used to facilitate crimes ranging from computer hacking to fraud, identity theft, tax refund fraud schemes, public corruption, and drug trafficking.

BTC-e’s servers, maintained in the United States, were allegedly one of the primary ways in which BTC-e and its operators effectuated their scheme. Klimenka and Soft-FX leased and maintained those servers.

Despite doing substantial business in the United States, BTC-e allegedly

  • Was not registered as a money services business with the U.S. Department of Treasury,
  • Had no anti-money laundering process,
  • No system for appropriate “know your customer” or “KYC” verification, and
  • No anti-money laundering program



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