Russian sentenced to French prison for bitcoin laundering

PARIS (AP) — A Russian bitcoin expert was sentenced in Paris to five years in prison for money laundering and ordered to pay 100,000 in fines in a case of suspected cryptocurrency fraud. Alexander Vinnik was acquitted of charges of extortion and association with a criminal enterprise, according to his lawyers. Vinnik denies wrongdoing, and his lawyers are discussing whether to appeal. Vinnik is also wanted in the United States and Russia. He was accused of being behind a 135 million-euro ($160 million) fraud campaign that encrypted users’ data and then made them pay ransom in the cryptocurrency bitcoin to unlock it.