Alleged Crypto Capital Operator Faces New Wire Fraud Charge

According to an indictment filed Friday, Fowler allegedly created a scheme to obtain money “by means of false and fraudulent pretenses” and directed the funds to a professional sports league.

While the indictment does not name the league, Fowler was previously the primary investor in the Alliance of American Football, a short-lived alternative to the National Football League that collapsed in the middle of its first season last year.

Reginald Fowler, an alleged operator behind payment processor Crypto Capital, was charged with wire fraud Friday, on top of existing charges of bank fraud, operation of an unlicensed money transmission business and conspiracy.

Fowler was originally arrested for allegedly operating Global Trading Solutions LLC, which appears to be tied to Crypto Capital, a payment processor crypto exchanges used to access banking services.

“Fowler defrauded individuals associated with a professional sports league (the ‘League’) in connection with his acquisition of an ownership stake in the League, inter alia, (i) by falsely claiming personal ownership of funds that were, in truth and in fact, funds Fowler had obtained through the unlicensed money transmitting business charged in Count Four of this Indictment and (ii) by converting those individuals’ funds toward his investment in the League,” according to the updated indictment.

QuadrigaCX and Bitfinex are two of the exchanges that apparently used Crypto Capital to process user funds.

Fowler originally pleaded not guilty to the money transmission business and bank fraud charges, but announced late last year he would change his plea. Under a tentative plea agreement he would have pleaded guilty to one charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitter, but Fowler did not consent to forfeiting $371 million he allegedly holds or held in bank accounts.

According to a memo approved by U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter, of the Southern District of New York, pretrial motions will be filed by Feb. 28, oppositions will be filed by March 13 and replies will be due by March 20. The next hearing is set for late April.

Alleged BTC-e Operator Will Be Extradited to France After Greek Supreme Court Ruling

Alexander Vinnik, the alleged operator of the BTC-e exchange, will be extradited to France following a ruling by Greece’s supreme court.

Vinnik will be sent to France on allegations of money laundering following a ruling from Greece’s Council of State, the country’s supreme administrative court, reported Greek news outlet Ekathimerini on Thursday. He was arrested in July 2017 by Greek authorities after Russia, the U.S. and France all issued international arrest warrants on charges of laundering at least $4 billion through BTC-e, which he allegedly set up.

Vinnik has maintained he is innocent of all charges, claiming he was just one of the exchange’s employees.

The court ruled a decision by Greek Justice Minister Konstantinos Tsiaras to extradite Vinnik to France, then to the U.S. and then to Russia had been lawful. Vinnik, who previously said he wished to be tried in Russia, has been on a hunger strike for the past month over claims his human rights have been violated.

A Greek court initially ordered Vinnik’s extradition to France in 2018, where he is wanted on charges of cybercrime, money laundering, membership in a criminal organization and extortion. Thursday’s ruling from the Council of State means Vinnik will no longer be able to appeal the extradition ruling.

The Greek government turned down a request from Russia’s Prosecutor General for Vinnik to be extradited directly to the country in late December. Russian President Vladimir Putin had reportedly raised the issue with the then-Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in December 2018, according to Russian media.

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