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Russian Nationals Charged with 2011 Hack of Cryptocurrency Exchange Mt. Gox


June 13, 2023

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Russian Nationals Charged with 2011 Hack of Cryptocurrency Exchange Mt. Gox

The US Justice Department has unsealed charges related to the 2011 hacking of cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox and the operation of the illicit exchange BTC-e.

Alexey Bilyuchenko, 43, and Aleksandr Verner, 29, are charged with conspiring to launder approximately 647,000 Bitcoins from their hack of Mt. Gox, which effectively heralded the exchange’s demise.

Court documents allege that, around September 2011, Bilyuchenko, Verner, and other unnamed co-conspirators hacked into a server in Japan holding Mt. Gox customers’ crypto wallets.

From September 2011 through to at least May 2014, the suspects allegedly used unauthorized access to steal at least approximately 647,000 Bitcoins, representing the vast majority of the cryptocurrency belonging to Mt. Gox’s customers.

Mt. Gox was the largest Bitcoin exchange in existence at the time, handling around 70% of Bitcoin transactions globally.

They are accused of then laundering the bulk of the loot through online bitcoin exchanges in their control, while also enlisting the help of a fraudulent advertising service to a Bitcoin brokerage firm which allegedly transferred more than approximately $6.6 million to overseas bank accounts controlled by Bilyuchenko, Verner, and their co-conspirators.

Bilyuchenko is also charged with conspiring with one Alexander Vinnik to operate the illicitly-funded BTC-e exchange from 2011 to 2017, when police ultimately shut it down.

During that time period, BTC-e was also one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges available and was one of the primary ways by which cybercriminals around the world transferred, laundered, and stored the proceeds from hacking incidents, ransomware events, identity theft schemes, corruption, and narcotics distribution rings.

Vinnik, who was sentenced in 2020, is currently in prison for his involvement in the scheme. Bilyuchenko and Verner are awaiting trial.




Filip has 15 years of experience in technology journalism. In recent years, he has turned his focus to cybersecurity in his role as Information Security Analyst at Bitdefender.

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