Rosen Yosifov, the owner of Bulgarian cryptocurrency exchange RGCoins, is awaiting extradition to the US. The news broke as the website of the company announced that it is closing its doors. The exchange is relatively small and has focused on the Eastern-European market.
According to the formal extradition request made by the US authorities, the charges are related to the actions of 14 Romanian citizens, one of whom was a client of the crypto exchange.
The documents sent by US authorities investigating a crime committed by 14 Romanian citizens doesn’t include any evidence of the wrongdoings of the owner of RGCoins. Yosifov was arrested in his home in Sofia, Bulgaria on December 11, 2018.
After reviewing the extradition request, the Bulgarian courts have approved the measure. The lack of any proof of Yosifov’s involvement in the scheme didn’t concern the court. The official opinion issued by the Sofia City Court is that it is reviewing the legitimacy of the request.
The charges made by the US authorities are that Yosifov participated in an organized crime group. His company, RGCoins allegedly exchanged Bitcoin of one of the 14 Romanian citizens. The claims made by the Kentucky Attorney General are that the exchange amounts to money laundering.
The Romanian citizens allegedly defrauded US citizens by posting fake ads in online auction platforms. The products sold during the auctions were never received by the buyers and the proceeds were misappropriated by the group of Romanian citizens.
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After the group purchased Bitcoin in the US, one individual exchanged the cryptocurrency back into fiat via Yosifov’s exchange.
The Bulgarian law is currently not regulating cryptocurrency exchanges. The actions of the owner of RGCoins have been legal according to local rules and regulations and he is not facing charges in Bulgaria.
On the morning of December 11, 2018, local law enforcement arrested Yosifov in his home. The family of the detainee states that the police didn’t present an arrest warrant and searched the premises confiscating all computers, mobile devices, and cash.
After escorting Yosifov from the premises, they proceed to his company’s office where they confiscate all of the assets of the firm including employee salaries and client money. The law enforcement officials left the arrest warrant at the company’s office.
After an initial court ruling on December 18, 2018, the appeals court confirmed the extradition to the US on January 24. Yosifov is currently held in custody in Sofia despite suffering from chest pains.
The local law enforcement authorities are not informing the family when is Yosifov going to get extradited to the US. Bulgarian authorities have been notoriously famous for their anti-crypto stance. The country was also home to OneCoin, an alleged multi-level marketing scheme whose offices were raided about a year ago.