US DOJ alleges 2 Russian nationals as hackers in Mt. Gox case.
The U.S. Department of Justice has accused two Russian nationals, Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner, of hacking into Mt. Gox in 2011. This was one of the biggest thefts in the cryptocurrency industry at that time. The DOJ announced the unsealing of a 2019 indictment on Friday, stating that the two gained unauthorized access to Mt. Gox’s wallets in September 2011, and stole 647,000 over the course of almost three years. The funds were then laundered.
The DOJ also alleged that Bilyuchenko was an operator of defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e, along with Alexander Vinnick, who was previously charged with operating BTC-e. Both Bilyuchenko and Verner face charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Bilyuchenko also faces a charge of operating an unlicensed money services business. The DOJ’s Southern District of New York and Northern District of California offices are both involved in cases related to the Mt. Gox hack.
DOJ Assistant Attorney Kenneth Polite stated that “This announcement marks an important milestone in two major cryptocurrency investigations. As alleged in the indictments, starting in 2011, Bilyuchenko and Verner stole a massive amount of cryptocurrency from Mt. Gox, contributing to the exchange’s ultimate insolvency. Armed with the ill-gotten gains from Mt. Gox, Bilyuchenko allegedly went on to help set up the notorious BTC-e virtual currency exchange, which laundered funds for cyber criminals worldwide. These indictments highlight the department’s unwavering commitment to bring to justice bad actors in the cryptocurrency ecosystem and prevent the abuse of the financial system.”