Alleged Cryptocurrency Launderer Extradicted to Face Oregon Charges

An alleged cryptocurrency money launderer was extradited this week from the Netherlands to the United States to face charges in the District of Oregon.

In August 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland charged Denis Dubnikov, 29, a Russian citizen, for his role in an international cryptocurrency money laundering conspiracy.

According to the indictment, between at least August 2018 and August 2021, Dubnikov and his co-conspirators are alleged to have knowingly and intentionally laundered the proceeds of Ryuk ransomware attacks on individuals and organizations throughout the United States and abroad.

Specifically, Dubnikov and his accomplices laundered ransom payments extracted from victims of ransomware attacks.

After receiving ransom payments, Dubnikov and his co-conspirators, and others involved in the scheme engaged in various financial transactions, including international financial transactions, to conceal the nature, source, location, ownership, and control of the ransom proceeds.

In July 2019, Dubnikov allegedly laundered more than $400,000 in ransom proceeds. Those involved in the conspiracy laundered at least $70 million in ransom proceeds.

Dubnikov was arrested in Amsterdam in November 2021 pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant.

Dubnikov made his initial appearance in federal court in the District of Oregon today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie Russo. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. A five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on October 4, 2022.

If convicted, Dubnikov faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, three years’ supervised release, and a fine of $500,000.

First identified in August 2018, Ryuk is a type of ransomware software that, when executed on a computer or network, encrypts files and attempts to delete any system backups.

Ryuk can target storage drives contained within or physically connected to a computer, including those accessible remotely via a network connection.

Ryuk has been used to target thousands of victims worldwide across a variety of sectors. In October 2020, law enforcement officials identified Ryuk as an imminent and increasing cybercrime threat to hospitals and healthcare providers in the United States.

This case was investigated by the FBI. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.

Dubnikov’s extradition was handled by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs. He was transferred to the District of Oregon by the FBI.

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