Blockchain News

US DOJ Indicted Russian Nationals for Mt. Gox Crypto Exchange Hack

The incident, considered one of the largest Bitcoin heists in history, saw the defendants gain unauthorized access to Mt. Gox's wallets and steal a staggering 647,000 BTC over nearly three years. 

Two Russians Accused of Stealing 647,000 BTC

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged two Russian nationals in connection with the hack of Mt. Gox, one of the world's largest and most notorious bitcoin heists. 

The defendants, Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner, allegedly gained unauthorized access to Mt. Gox's wallets in September 2011 and stole a staggering 647,000 BTC over nearly three years. These ill-gotten funds were subsequently laundered.

This recent indictment sheds light on the extent of the Mt. Gox hack, which occurred in 2014 and shook the cryptocurrency industry. At that time, Mt. Gox suspended its transactions following the revelation of losing nearly 750,000 BTC. The DOJ's investigation also implicates the use of an unnamed New York-based Bitcoin brokerage service by the defendants to launder the stolen funds, amounting to over $6.6 million transferred to overseas bank accounts.

The DOJ revealed that Bilyuchenko had ties to another defunct crypto exchange, BTC-e, operated by Alexander Vinnik, a Russian cybercrime kingpin. BTC-e suffered a massive collapse in 2014, losing nearly half a billion dollars in cryptocurrency, and was known for catering to cybercriminals worldwide. Bilyuchenko allegedly conspired with Vinnik in running BTC-e from 2011 to 2017.

The charges filed against Bilyuchenko and Verner include conspiracy to commit money laundering, while Bilyuchenko faces an additional charge of operating an unlicensed money services business. Both the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of California offices of the DOJ are handling cases related to the Mt. Gox hack.

Related News