Two men charged in Mt. Gox hack by US Justice Department.

The United States Justice Department has revealed charges against two individuals who are believed to be responsible for the $400 million hack of the former Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox. The charges claim that 43-year-old Alexey Bilyuchenko and 29-year-old Aleksandr Verner conspired to launder 647,000 Bitcoin (BTC) that they stole from Mt. Gox by hacking the exchange’s servers.

Bilyuchenko is also accused of conspiring to operate the BTC-e exchange, which was closed down in 2017 due to allegations of money laundering.

The DOJ has revealed charges relating to the 2011 hack of the cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox, and the running of the illegal cryptocurrency exchange, BTC-e. Both Russian nationals, Alexey Bilyuchenko, 43, and Aleksandr Verner, 29, are charged with conspiring to launder approximately…

— db (@tier10k) June 9, 2023

The prosecutors claim that the hack took place over a period of more than a year, from September 2011 until at least May 2014. During this time, the two men gained control of a Mt. Gox server located in Japan. They then periodically transferred BTC from Mt. Gox to themselves until the “vast majority” of customers’ BTC had been taken from the exchange, according to the prosecutors.

After taking possession of the Bitcoin, the men attempted to sell it through another exchange that they controlled. To make these sales possible, they entered into an allegedly fraudulent contract with a Bitcoin brokerage firm located in New York. The brokerage firm bought the stolen BTC from the hackers by sending wire transfers to various offshore bank accounts, according to the prosecutors. The Bitcoin was left in the possession of the alleged hackers’ exchange but was credited to the brokerage firm’s account within it.

The announcement does not specify whether BTC-e was the exchange used in the fraudulent deal, instead referring to it as “Exchange-1.” The prosecutors claim that the pair received approximately $6.6 million from the deal.

Related: Mt. Gox repayment registrations close: Here’s what’s next

Mt. Gox was one of the first major cryptocurrency exchanges. It filed for bankruptcy in March 2014 after claiming that the hack had caused it to become insolvent.

BTC-e operated from 2011 to 2017. In 2017, the FBI seized some of the exchange’s cryptocurrency, claiming that the funds had been earned through money laundering. The founder of BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, is currently serving prison time for his involvement with the exchange. In May, Vinnik’s lawyer attempted to secure his release as part of a prisoner exchange with the Russian Federation.

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