March 4, 2024

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

The court of Limassol awarded Sergey Maizus, the owner of payment companies that served, among other things, the BTC-e exchange€38 million in compensation for the "reputational damage" caused to him after the closure of the stock exchange.

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 two years.Back in the fall of 2017, the owner of the OKPAY and MoneyPolo payment systems, Sergey Mayzus, filed a lawsuit in a Cypriot court demanding to recover €1.4 billion from Alexander Vinnik, who was detained in Greece in the summer of 2017 and suspected by the US authorities of laundering money worth about $4 billion through cryptocurrencies.Hitherto unknown owners of BTC-e 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 Mayzus's statement filed with the Limassol court, Alexander Vinnik and his "business partners" conspiredfor the purpose of fraud and money laundering, as well as providing false information and documents when using payment systems owned by Mayzus.

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 handled it. The defendants in the case included Alexander Vinnik and the offshore company Canton Business Corporation, which formally managed BTC-e. It is unlikely that you should expect to receive 38 million euros from them. Sergei Mayzus, at least from the legal side, was able to “whiten” the reputation — themselves and their 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.