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Estonian court docket nixes extradition of accused crypto scammers to US


Ivan Turogin and Sergei Potapenko, co-founders of Bitcoin cloud miner HashFlare, have efficiently appealed their extradition from Estonia to the USA, the place the 2 face 18 counts of fraud and cash laundering. The Tallinn Circuit Court docket overturned a decrease court docket’s order on Nov. 29, in accordance with an area press report.

In response to the USA Justice Division, HashFlare, which operated from 2015 to 2019, was a Ponzi scheme with hundreds of thousands of victims paying in a complete of $575 million. The corporate claimed to lease hashing energy for crypto mining. It additionally inspired funding in a pretend financial institution. If convicted in the USA, Turogin and Potapenko every withstand 20 years in jail.

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Turogin and Potapenko had been arrested in Estonia, the place they’re residents, after a U.S. grand jury returned an indictment in November 2022. The Estonian authorities approved their extradition in September. In response to the BBC, the investigation of the boys was carried out in Estonia with the assistance of 15 People and was one of many largest fraud instances within the nation’s historical past.

The businessmen’s protection supplied “proof concerning the circumstances of detention in the USA” that the federal government had not thought of and claimed there have been procedural irregularities in issuing the extradition orders. In overturning these orders, the circuit court docket cited European Court docket of Justice and the European Court docket of Human Rights follow.

The HashFlare homepage. Supply: HashFlare

The court docket ordered Turogin, Potapenko and their households to obtain over 100,000 euros ($110,000) in reimbursement. Its resolution may be appealed by Dec. 11.

Estonia handed enhanced Anti-Cash Laundering legal guidelines, together with the introduction of the Financial Action Task Force Journey Rule, that led to the closure of virtually 400 digital asset service suppliers in Could.

Journal: E For Estonia: How Digital Natives are Creating the Blueprint for a Blockchain Nation