Aleksandr Vinnik associated with the BTC-E exchange is called the main suspect in the case of theft with MTGOX
The new investigation in the MTGOX case connected the proposed co-owner of BTC-E Alexander Vinnik with the theft of funds from the Japanese exchange. The details of the investigation were published by Wizsec (Bitcoin Security Specialists).
The authors of the report from the very beginning declare that Vinnik is the main suspect in the case of embezzlement of funds with MTGOX and laundering the income received illegally.
The investigation itself was the result of several years of painstaking work, and its results are supported by the conclusions of independent researchers. It is also noted that as the facts of criminal activity are revealed, the information was transferred to law enforcement agencies, and all the details of the investigation were kept in the strictest secrecy, so as not to attract the attention of the suspects and make the chances of their arrest as high as possible.
After the arrest of Vinnik in Greece, the authors of the study came to the conclusion that it can be started to be publicized, but since the document was quite voluminous, they decided to do it in parts. The first publication contains the main facts that give a general idea of the collected array of information.
A brief resume
– in September 2011 by simple copying of the Wallet file.DAT were stolen private keys to the hot wallet of the MTGOX exchange. Thanks to this, hackers gained access to a significant number of bitcoins, as well as the ability to control the deposits coming to the exchange, which passed through a hacked wallet;
– Using compromised keys, hackers regularly devastated accounts and sent coins to wallets controlled by Vinnik. This continued with interruptions for a long time. The largest, second stage of thefts occurred in 2012 and 2013;
– By mid -2013, when the influx of consumed funds from the compromised wallet slowed down, the attackers withdrew about 630,000 BTC from the MTGOX accounts;
-After the coins came to Vinnik, most of the funds entered BTC-E, where it was supposedly sold or washed (BTC codes were then the best option). A total of about 300,000 VTS were on BTC-E, while other coins were deposited on other exchanges, including MTGOX itself;
– In addition, thanks to the multiple use of the compromised address, MTGOX mistakenly determined the expense of the funds of attackers as deposits. As a result of this account, many users were replenished to large amounts, and the “hole” in the balance sheet of the exchange at a certain moment reached almost 40,000 BTC. At the same time, most of these funds were hastily bred by users without notifying the MTGOX administration about what happened;
-After the abducted bitcoins fell on Vinnik’s wallets, most of them were sent to BTC-E and, as expected http://coin-graph.website/?p=1048 , was sold to users of the exchange or used to launder illegal income, including through a popular tool as BTC codes. Thus, in total, about 300,000 BTC got on the BTC-E, some of which were translated under the guise of deposits to other exchanges, including MTGOX itself;
-Part of the funds received at the BTC-E most likely fell straight into the “internal storage”. According to the authors of the study, this may indicate the existence of certain connections between Vinnik and BTC-E;
– In addition to MTGOX, Vinnik is involved in the theft of bitcoins from other exchanges. So, through the same wallets, coins were laundered as a result of attacks on Bitcoinica, Bitfloor and several other exchanges in 2011-2012;
– It was the reverse movement of bitcoins on MTGOX that made it possible to identify Vinnik. The accounts associated with him on the Japanese exchange were displayed on his online pseudonym WME. It was on behalf of WME that Vinnik made a public statement that the coins belonging to him were confiscated. The mentioned bitcoins came from Bitcoinica accounts.
After determining the actual transactions with bitcoins that were stolen from MTGOX, the authors of the investigation tracked and grouped all the address involved in the laundering of coins. Quickly, they managed to establish that the funds stolen on other exchanges are also leading to these wallets.
The upper area of the schedule includes clusters not related to Vinnik, and displays other thefts. Reds marked clusters that directly used MTGOX accounts.
Since some bitcoins were sent under the guise of deposits to MTGOX, it was possible to determine which accounts were used to receive them. Two of these records are of particular interest, and they can be associated with the user under the pseudonym WME.
For a long time, WME has actively and often advertised “cheap coins” on the Bitcointalk forum, and also sold BTC-e codes. At the same time, the BTC-E exchange was publicly vouching for him, declaring her good acquaintance with WME.
WME was also involved in the theft of funds with Bitcoinica, and this gave the authors of the investigation another strong argument in favor of the fact that they managed to establish the “right” person – the main figure involved in the laundering of funds after the robbery of MTGOX.
This episode ultimately helped them establish the name “Alexander Vinnik”, although at that time the researchers thought that this was his fake name, as they faced a huge number of pseudonyms. According to them, the detention of Vinnik in Greece proves that then they were right.
Also, the authors of the investigation say that the work they conduct proves that Vinnik is not a hacker and not a thief, but a person “responsible for laundering the loot”. At the same time, the reports of the news agencies about his detention are also focused on suspicion of laundering.
It is also noted that Vinnik could just buy cheap coins from thieves and offered money laundering services. Nevertheless, his figure is an important part of the puzzle, and his arrest will probably allow you to find out who exactly he was dealing with and whose interests represented.
In conclusion, the authors of the investigation express the hope that the law enforcement agencies will now take subsequent steps that will identify other persons involved in the theft of MTGOX funds.
Recall, the US Crime Control Office (Fincen) imposed a fine of $ 110 million for the “intentional violation of US laws to https://gagarin.news/ru/news/overview-of-the-bloktopia-project/ combat money laundering” on the BTC-E).
Forklog also reported that on July 25, as a result of a special operation in Greece, Russian Alexander Vinnik was detained. According to American law enforcement agencies, he has been one of the leading participants in the criminal organization, which since 2011 through the BTC-E exchange has beenhed more than $ 4 billion.