Greece has extradited to the USA the Russian expert in the field of cryptocurrencies Alexander Vinik, who was convicted of money laundering in France, Greek media and world agencies inform.

Vinik was put on a plane to the United States without being allowed to seek asylum in Greece, his lawyer, Zoe Konstandopoulou, was quoted as saying by AFP.

According to sources, the operation to extradite the 43-year-old man, whose financial operations earned him the nickname "Mr. Bitcoin", was carried out in the utmost secrecy and was in accordance with a decision of the Supreme Court of Greece, notes Kathimerini.

Vinik has been indicted in the US for laundering $4 billion through a bitcoin scheme.

He denies the charges.

The Russian who laundered billions of dollars through virtual currency is extradited

The Russian was handed over to Greece by French authorities on Thursday afternoon, just weeks after his final sentence in Paris to five years in prison for money laundering by the French Court of Cassation, a source close to the case in France told AFP.

Alexander Vinik, a father of two, spent two years in prison in France after being extradited from Greece.

He was arrested in July 2017 in the Greek seaside resort of Halkidiki, and Greece decided to hand him over to France, while Russia and the United States also requested his extradition.

The Russian faces 21 charges in the United States, including identity theft, complicity in drug trafficking and money laundering.

In Russia, he is only accused of fraud for 9,500 euros.

Arriving in the United States, Vinik was brought before a federal judge in San Francisco, California, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

"Earlier today, he was arraigned for the first time before Judge Sally Kim in federal court in San Francisco," the filing said.

The press service of the court specified that it is a short hearing, during which the substance of the charges is presented to the suspect, and procedural issues may also be affected, including the posting of bail, after which the parties to the case will begin to familiarize themselves with the materials on him.

As a rule, several weeks or even months pass from the moment of the initial appearance before the court to the start of the consideration of the case, according to TASS.