US Court Sentences Russian Crypto Ransom Launderer to Probation and Fine

US Court Sentences Russian Crypto Ransom Launderer to Probation and Fine – Denis Dubnikov, a Russian cryptocurrency entrepreneur who was accused of laundering money from ransomware attacks, has been given a probation sentence and a fine in the United States after he pleaded guilty. Dubnikov, who founded two coin trading platforms, was arrested in the Netherlands and later extradited to the US in August 2022.

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He was accused of money laundering connected to the distribution of ransomware and has now been sentenced to three years of probation in the US. As a result of his criminal activity, the 30-year-old cryptocurrency businessman has been ordered by a federal court in Oregon to forfeit $2,000 worth of proceeds and pay $10,100 in criminal monetary penalties.

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At first, the Russian and his accomplices were accused by American prosecutors of laundering proceeds from Ryuk ransomware attacks that targeted individuals and organizations in the US and other nations, from at least August 2018 to August 2021. According to court documents, it has been revealed that the proprietor of cryptocurrency exchanges Coyote Crypto and Eggchange had only laundered a part of the payment made in relation to a Ryuk ransomware attack.

The documents also indicate that the defendant had not played any role in the actual ransomware activity and had pleaded guilty to the theory of willful blindness. After a Ryuk attack in July 2019, a US-based company paid 250 BTC, which was worth around $3.1 million at the time, as ransom. 

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Dubnikov, in turn, agreed to exchange 35 BTC for approximately $400,000 in cash. The court has stated that he was unaware that these funds were related to the ransomware attack, but he intentionally avoided finding out the truth. Ryuk is a malware program that encrypts files on the computer systems of targeted organizations. It was first discovered in 2018 and has been used to attack various victims around the globe, including healthcare providers and hospitals in the US.

Dubnikov has been ordered by the court to comply with a set of strict supervision requirements as part of his punishment. These requirements include reporting regularly to the police, taking drug tests, and providing DNA samples at the request of law enforcement authorities. The sentence takes into account the time that Dubnikov spent in detention prior to his conviction.

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Supervision requirements are commonly imposed on individuals who have been found guilty of criminal activities. The purpose of these requirements is to ensure that the individual is monitored closely and that they comply with the conditions set forth by the court. Failure to comply with supervision conditions may result in additional penalties or a revocation of probation or parole.

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