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Estonia approves extradition of HashFlare ponzi scheme founders to the U.S.

TL;DR

  • Estonia approves extradition of HashFlare founders Ivan Turogin and Sergei Potapenko to the U.S., despite a previous court block.
  • The decision comes after Estonia’s Ministry of Justice finds sufficient evidence, while the timeline for extradition remains unclear.
  • The founders face allegations of deceiving victims and laundering $575 million through fraudulent schemes.

Estonia has given the green light for the extradition of Ivan Turogin and Sergei Potapenko, the individuals behind the $575 million cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme known as HashFlare, to the United States. This decision comes despite a prior block by the Tallinn court, which criticized the Estonian government for insufficiently investigating key circumstances related to the extradition case.

The Tallinn Circuit Court had previously blocked the extradition of Turogin and Potapenko in November 2023. At that time, concerns were raised about the adequacy of the investigation surrounding the extradition request. However, Estonia’s Ministry of Justice has now conducted a comprehensive review and determined that there is sufficient evidence to justify the extradition without disproportionately infringing on the fundamental rights of the accused individuals.

Allegations of deception and money laundering

Turogin and Potapenko were arrested in Estonia in November 2022 following a written extradition request from the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ). The U.S. authorities accuse them of orchestrating a massive cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme through HashFlare. According to the indictment, they deceived victims by promoting fraudulent equipment rental contracts with HashFlare and encouraging investments in a crypto bank named Polybius.

The US DoJ alleges that both businesses operated as Ponzi schemes, with Turogin and Potapenko using shell companies to launder a staggering $575 million of clients’ funds. The funds were purportedly used for the purchase of real estate and luxury cars.

Unclear extradition timeline

While Estonia has approved the extradition, the specific timeline for Potapenko and Turogin’s transfer to the United States to face fraud charges remains unclear. The extradition process involves legal and administrative steps that must be followed, and it may take some time before the accused individuals are handed over to U.S. authorities.

In conclusion, Estonia’s decision to extradite the founders of HashFlare to the United States underscores the seriousness of the allegations against them. The U.S. Department of Justice’s pursuit of justice in this case highlights the global nature of cryptocurrency-related crimes and the collaboration between nations to address them. As this legal process unfolds, it will be closely monitored to ensure that justice is served in this high-profile cryptocurrency fraud case.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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