A Russian crypto businessman has been given probation and a fine by an American court after admitting to laundering money from ransomware attacks. The owner of two crypto trading platforms, Denis Dubnikov, was arrested in the Netherlands and extradited to the U.S. last year.
US Court Imposes Probation and Fine on Crypto Money Launderer
A Russian national charged with laundering proceeds from a ransomware attack has been sentenced to three years of probation in the United States. Denis Dubnikov was arrested in Amsterdam in November 2021, and then extradited to the U.S. in August 2022.
In addition, the 30-year-old crypto entrepreneur was ordered by the Oregon federal court to pay a criminal penalty of $10,100 and to forfeit $2,000 of the money he earned from his criminal activities.
U.S. prosecutors had accused the Russian and his accomplices of laundering funds from Ryuk ransomware attacks on individuals and organizations in the U.S. and other countries between at least August 2018 and August 2021.
It has been established in court documents that Dubnikov, the founder of crypto exchanges Coyote Crypto and Eggchange, had laundered only a portion of a Ryuk ransomware payment, noting that the “defendant was not involved in the underlying ransomware activity and is pleaded guilty to a willful blindness theory.”
Back in July 2019, a U.S. company was forced to pay 250 BTC (approx. $3.1 million) ransom following a Ryuk attack. Dubnikov then agreed to exchange 35 BTC for approximately $400,000 in cash. The court found that he did not know these were ransomware proceeds but also “deliberately avoided learning the truth.”
Ryuk is a malicious software that encrypts files on the targeted organizations’ computers. It has been used against multiple victims worldwide since it was first identified in 2018, including hospitals and healthcare providers in the United States.
The court sentence takes into account the time Dubnikov spent in detention. He has been ordered to comply with supervision requirements, including regular reporting to the police, taking drug tests, and providing DNA samples at the request of law enforcement authorities.
Do you anticipate more arrests and convictions related to Ryuk ransomware attacks? Share your thoughts on the case in the comments section below.