The Office worked in coordination with the US Attorney's Office of the Northern District of California. According to the official documents of FinCEN, Russian citizen Alexander Vinnik and the BTC-e exchange he represents are accused of money laundering, conspiracy to commit financial crimes, illegal financial transactions and the management of a business related to money transfers. At the same Vinnik FinCEN imposed a fine of $ 12 million for his "role in violations." This is reported on the FinCEN website.
We will hold accountable foreign-located money transmitters, including virtual currency exchangers, that do business in the United States when they willfully violate U.S. anti-money laundering laws. This action should be a strong deterrent to anyone who thinks that they can facilitate ransomware, dark net drug sales, or conduct other illicit activity using encrypted virtual currency. Treasury’s FinCEN team and our law enforcement partners will work with foreign counterparts across the globe to appropriately oversee virtual currency exchangers and administrators who attempt to subvert U.S. law and avoid complying with U.S. AML safeguards.
Acting Director, FinCEN
The agency also notes that the users of the exchange were actively giving advises to the BTC-e administration on the conduct of illegal money transactions and laundering proceeds. Laudering money was from the Darkkroad, Hansa and AlphaBay, well-known deep web drug markets. Also FinCEN noted that for the opening of the trading account on the BTC-e exchange only the email address, password and user name were required.
In addition, BTC-e is involved in part of the funds that were lost after the bankruptcy of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. In particular, the FinCEN website says that for the period from 2011 to 2014 BTC-e carried out about 300,000 bitcoins-transactions with illegally obtained funds.
FinCEN also found that the exchange had received funds worth about $ 3 million, which were received as a result of the work of extortion programs, such as "Cryptolocker" and "Locky". Also BTC-e is involved in money laundering through the Liberty Reserve payment system, which was closed by the US authorities in 2013.
Alexander Vinnik was arrested 25th of July in Greece. BTC-e is unavailable from 25th too. Official reason is maintenance.