Despite regulators clamping down on malicious actors in the crypto industry, it has not stopped them from committing their malicious acts. Recent news making the rounds has claimed that the legal team of an already convicted criminal who launched money through Bitcoin has moved to appeal his sentence. Alexander Vinnik was arrested for laundering huge sums of money using the leading digital asset and brought to court.
In sentencing him, the presiding judge slammed him with a five-year prison term. Going by a result released by a famous French news outlet, Kommersant, Vinnik’s legal team, led by his attorney, Federico Belot, has taken the recent decision to an appeal court.
The lawyer says his client is framed
In his argument, Belot mentioned that his client has never been involved in any money laundering activity, especially the recently charged one. Slamming the sentence, Belot claimed that the presiding judge mentioned that evidence shows his client was part of a money laundering criminal gang, an allegation that is false because one righteous person cannot form a gang.
Belot said the reason he challenged the verdict was because that evidence failed to mention any other person in the gang besides his client. The lawyer also noted that the evidence alleged the gang allegedly used Bitcoin Casino, an online casino to launder those funds. Belot said the court failed to establish the fact that his client was a victim of circumstance as he was employed by people he had never met to manage the online casino platform.
Officials say Vinnik may be linked to Mt. Hack Gox
Belot also said that Vinnik, like everyone on the platform, was a trader and a gamer, but he didn’t know why the authorities were taking him out to prosecute him. According to Belot, the court will have another sitting in the next four months, and it will be for them to decide whether or not the appeal is upheld.
Famous lawyers have blamed the investigations surrounding the ruling as most of them cited the involvement of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to reports at the time, Vinnik was asked to be extradited to his homeland where he would suffer fewer consequences for his actions.
Vinnik was said to have defrauded people’s slot of funds up to $ 11,000. Although the Russian authorities tried their best to get Vinnik back to the European country, the authorities moved him to France instead. After things are done in France, Vinnik will then be moved to the United States where he would face further sanctions if connected to the Mt. God hack an attack that happened years ago. Officials have noted that some of the Bitcoin recovered from the online casino may have originated from Mt. Gox.