The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said that Russian nationals Alexey Bilyuchenko and Aleksandr Verner were responsible for hacking now defunct cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox in 2011, laundering bitcoin from the hack, and operating an illicit crypto exchange of their own.
In September 2011, Bilyuchenko, Verner, and their accomplices allegedly accessed the server hosting the cryptocurrency wallets of Mt. Gox, by far the largest bitcoin exchange at the time. With unauthorized access, they allegedly transferred bitcoins from Mt. Gox's wallets to their own controlled bitcoin addresses.
Over the span of approximately three years, from September 2011 to May 2014, Bilyuchenko, Verner, and their co-conspirators are said to have stolen around 647,000 bitcoins from Mt. Gox. The stolen bitcoins were allegedly laundered through bitcoin addresses associated with accounts controlled by Bilyuchenko, Verner, and their accomplices on two other online bitcoin exchanges, as well as through a specific user account on Mt. Gox itself.
The DOJ's allegations also suggest that the accused individuals engaged in fraudulent contracts with a New York-based bitcoin broker to launder the stolen bitcoins originating from Mt. Gox. Mt. Gox collapsed and filed for bankruptcy in 2014, resulting in significant financial losses for numerous users who are still waiting for the distribution of the remaining assets from the Mt. Gox estate.
Another Russian national, Alexander Vinnik, was previously charged with operating BTC-e in 2017.