InfoWatch Head Natalia Kasperskaya’s husband provided lawyer to hacker Vinnik
Legal expert Timofey Musatov – lawyer of Igor Ashmanov and the husband of InfoWatch Head Natalia Kasperskaya – is in charge of the Vinnik case. Ashmanov has confirmed that he had provided a lawyer to the arrested hacker.
Ruspres has found a link between hacker Aleksandr Vinnik, arrested in Greece, and the family of ex-wife of Kaspersky Lab head Natalia Kasperskaya and Igor Ashmanov, managers of InfoWatch and Ashmanov and partners, respectively. According to journalists, the companies of Vinnik and Ashmanov have the same addresses. In particular, both CreditSales LLC, owned by Vinnik, and Igor Ashmanov and Ilya Gershevich Stavisky’s Informatika LLC are located at 7 Bolshoy Kozikhinsky Lane, Build. 2, the agency reports.
Aleksandr Vinnik was arrested on July 25 in Greece at the request of the United States. The US prosecutors accuse the Russian of laundering at least $4 billion since 2011 via the website BTC-e he created, as well as of hacking the Japanese cryptocurrency stock exchange Mt. Gox. About 300 thousand bitcoins had been stolen from the stock exchange (or 850 thousand, which is about $500 million at the rate of 2014, as Vedomosti reported), and then withdrawn via BTC-e to Vinnik’s accounts in the banks of Cyprus and Latvia. In case of extradition to the USA, the hacker faces up to 55 years in prison and a fine of $12 million. Vinnik denies all accusations against him.
Russian authorities charged Vinnik of Swindling on an especially large scale (part 3 of Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code) in his absence already on August 10. A week later, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office sent a request to the Ministry of Justice of Greece for the extradition of the hacker. According to the investigation, he had signed a contract with a commercial firm for the supply of equipment and disappeared after receiving an advance payment of 600 thousand rubles ($10.3 thousand). September 27, the Ostankino Court of Moscow arrested Vinnik in absentia.
The Prosecutor's Office of Greece placed the Russian under arrest until September 25, while considering his extradition to the United States. The hacker is currently in Greece. Last week, Vinnik was arrested for another 40 days to consider extradition to Russia. It is expected that the Thessaloniki Court will consider both requests on September 29.
According to international law, Russia has a priority right to return its citizen. Vinnik himself refused to voluntarily extradite to the US and spoke in favor of returning to his homeland.
In late 2013, an employee of Ashmanov and partners Dmitry Zubakha received a suspended sentence under similar circumstances. Zubakha was detained in June 2012 in Cyprus at the request of US law enforcement agencies. He was accused of stealing data from credit cards and embezzling large sums of money from their holders’ accounts. Already in September 2012, Russian law enforcers also charged Zubakha and sent a request for his extradition to the Cypriot authorities. According to the investigation, he was an accomplice in the theft of 6 million rubles ($103.1 thousand) from other people's accounts. The case of Zubakha and his alleged accomplice Evgeny Yun was considered under a special procedure, since both has pleaded guilty. As a result, Zubakha was sentenced to four years' probation, while Yun got three years. It was reported that after this, the hacker continued to work in Ashmanov's company.
In 2015, the members of the organized crime group were acquitted by the Moscow Regional Military Court, however, subsequently, the sentence was revoked by the Supreme Court, and the case was joined with that related to two other members of the gang.
A federal judge other than retired Catherine Forrest will consider the case of Razhden Shulaya, who is charged with the creation of a criminal syndicate and other crimes, in the Federal District Court of the Southern District of New York.