U.S. Authorities Accuse Coinflux CEO Of Crypto Money Laundering – 14 Romanians Arrested

According to the news outlet Mediafax the Romanian police arrested Vlad NISTOR, CEO of Coinflux – a small Romanian crypto exchange – and 14 other Romanians last Tuesday. NISTOR was detained for 24 hours on request of the U.S. authorities for allegedly running a money laundering scheme and being part of organized crime. Currently, he has been released but remains under judicial control. According to sources close to the case, the extradition request for NISTOR will be dealt with on December 20th before the competent Romanian court.

The U.S. authorities have been granted access the Coinflux client data by the Romanian court.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has built a case against these 15 Romanians who allegedly have committed several cyber crimes in the U.S. According to the U.S. FBI, Vlad NISTOR has coordinated the criminal group of Romanians and used Coinflux to launder illicit proceeds from their criminal activities. Currently, these allegations are proven by some Telegram conversations. NISTOR had told his lawyers, however, that he did not personally know the other suspects in the case, and that the accusations are conflicting with the facts.

Coinflux published an announcement saying that the exchange has temporarily suspended its activities because the company’s bank accounts have been frozen. Moreover, the access to parts of Coinflux’s platform has been restricted by authorities.

According to local media, NISTOR may eventually not be extradited to the United States.‎ On Wednesday, December 13, the Bucharest Court of Appeal resolved the extradition requests of the US authorities. With the exception of NISTOR, the other suspects were arrested for surrender to the U.S. for extradition. In the case of Coinflux CEO, the court decided to postpone the decision to December 20, 2018.

The reason for this different handling is that while the 14 other Romanians committed the crime on U.S. territory, NISTOR allegedly acted in the territory of Romania.

Purportedly, Vlad NISTOR and the 14 other Romanians will be prosecuted in the U.S. with three charges: organized crime, computer fraud, and money laundering.

NISTOR is a 29 years old Romanian entrepreneur with a working experience in the financial industry. He managed assets for companies like Aegon, Banca Transilvania or BCR, a member of Erste Group. He allegedly is the son of one of the founders of Banca Transilvania, the second-largest financial institution in Romania.

This enforcement action in Romania is just the latest in a series of U.S. operations against crypto criminals in Europe.