February 1, 2023

Sergey Mayzus “seized” € 38 million from the owners of the former BTC-e exchange in Cyprus

The Limassol court awarded Sergey Mayzus, the owner of payment companies, including those serving the BTC-e exchange - compensation of € 38 million for the “reputation damage” caused to him after the exchange closed.

This decision will stir up the quenched swamp a bit,which absorbed the deposits of BTC-e and WEX customers, although it will not clarify the long history of the exchange and the fate of the money lost on it. The decision of the Cypriot court in favor of Maysus, issued a month ago, was drawn by the founder of ICO BANK, Mikhail Zhukhovitsky, on his Facebook page.

According to AGP Law Firm, which represented the interests of Sergey Mayzus and his companies Mayzus Financial Services Ltd, OKPAY CY Ltd and OKPAY Inc:

“We are proud to have addressed the problem of ourclients in a successful lawsuit against money launderers and in a substantial, one-of-a-kind compensation of more than € 38 million. ”

This case is far from new, the process lasted twoof the year. The owner of OKPAY and MoneyPolo payment systems Sergey Mayzus filed a lawsuit in a Cyprus court in the fall of 2017 demanding to recover € 1.4 billion from Alexander Vinnik, who was detained in Greece in the summer of 2017 and suspected of US money laundering in the amount of about $ 4 billion through cryptocurrencies. Still unknown BTC-e owners have repeatedly denied Vinnik’s involvement in the management of the exchange.

At € 1.4 billion Meisus assessed the damage to his business reputation, which allegedly suffered as a result of fraudulent actions of Vinnik. Vinnik’s defense then called these claims absurd and unfounded. In particular, Vinnik’s lawyer Timofei Musatov stated:

“According to Vinnik, this lawsuit was most likelyfiled to whitewash the name of Sergei Mayzus in the press. In addition, directly from Mayzus firms there is client money, that is, the exchange opened accounts in Mayzus companies, so the money was not on the exchange, but on the accounts of companies controlled by Sergey Mayzus. Accordingly, the entire benefit of the enterprise from this criminal case should be in its hands. ”

Based on a statement by Meizus filed in courtLimassol, Alexander Vinnik and his "business partners" conspired with the aim of fraud and money laundering, and also provided false information and documents when using payment systems owned by Maisus.

After the scandalous closure of the exchange to Sergey Mayzusand his family began to receive threats in connection with the assumption that the payment systems belonging to him were used for money laundering, and significant amounts were in his hands. However, Maisus denied this information and published a statement on OKPAY's website shortly after Vinnik’s arrest.

The decision of the Cyprus court is unlikely to change anything forall parties involved, and will benefit mainly the lawyers who led him. The defendants in the case were Alexander Vinnik and the offshore company Canton Business Corporation, formally managing BTC-e. It is hardly worth expecting to receive 38 million euros from them. Sergey Mayzus, at least from the legal side, was able to “whiten” the reputation of himself and his companies.

As for the real owners of the formerexchanges, still preserving anonymity, then this modest "appendage" to all other requirements and charges against them, does not matter.

Last week the ministry of foreign affairsRussia sent new arguments to the Greek government, which should contribute to the extradition of Alexander Vinnik to the Russian Federation. Vinnik’s extradition is sought by several countries at once, including Russia, the USA and France, each of which brings its own set of charges against it. As a result, Vinnik has been wandering in Greek prisons for two and a half years, and the outcome is still unclear.