CEO of Romanian Exchange Coinflux to Be Extradited to the US

Vlad Nistor, the CEO of Romanian cryptocurrency exchange Coinflux was arrested in December and on January 4th, the Romanian Judiciary confirmed his extradition to the US authorities for further prosecution.

Nistor, the founder and CEO of the exchange, has been accused of multiple financial crimes including the laundering of illicitly obtained funds through the digital asset trading platform. Nistor was arrested late last year, in December by Romanian law enforcement officials and members of the Secret Service in the city of Cluj, where Coinflux is based out of.

He was released on bail by the Bucharest Court of Appeal soon after but was prohibited from leaving the city pending further investigations. Nistor appealed to the Judiciary against the US extradition request, but his appeal was struck down on December 20.

According to local media, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Romania’s supreme judicial authority, has upheld the decision by the lower instance and ordered Nistor’s transfer to U.S. custody. Nistor is wanted for his participation in crimes committed by other Romanian nationals. Using Coinflux, the group allegedly laundered money from their criminal activities, including defrauding U.S. citizens.

During the trial, Nistor’s lawyer claimed that he had been “wrongly accused” of committing crimes in the US as he was not directly involved in the act. The lawyer, Anatol Pânzaru claimed that the scammers actually involved in the crime had initially exchanged their proceeds to Bitcoin in the US, conducted the money laundering on US soil and then converted the laundered money back to fiat currency through Coinflux, without Nistor having any hand in the process.

In one of his court statements during the trial, he talked about how he had been in the financial industry for seven years even before he established the cryptocurrency exchange. Nistor was quoted saying,

“When you try to grow a business, you don’t think of committing crimes, because the value of that business is diminished.”

Founded in 2015, the digital trading platform has since traded over $229 million, processing over 203,000 transactions, according to the company’s records. The company’s website now reads, “Trading disabled, bank account frozen.

Coinflux released an official statement where it confirmed that digital currency trading through the platform has been suspended pending the “unexpected investigation.” However, the company assured its users that it is doing everything in its power “to make sure everyone who had money deposited in Coinflux wallets gets it back.” However, the company conceded that certain parts of the platform have been restricted from use by the authorities.