British man cannot be extradited to US over fake cryptocurrency scheme, court rules

British man cannot be extradited to US over fake cryptocurrency scheme, court rules

LONDON, Nov 16 (EMWNews) -In a significant turn of events, London’s High Court has ruled in favor of Christopher Hamilton, a 64-year-old British man wanted in the U.S. on charges of money laundering and wire fraud linked to the notorious fake cryptocurrency OneCoin. The decision comes after Hamilton’s appeal against extradition was upheld on Thursday.

Hamilton, indicted by a New York grand jury in 2019 for his alleged involvement in a $4 billion Ponzi scheme associated with OneCoin, had vehemently denied any wrongdoing. OneCoin co-founder Karl Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years in a New York jail for fraud and money laundering earlier this year, while the other co-founder, Ruja Ignatova, remains on the FBI’s 10 most-wanted list.

The ruling by Judge Victoria Sharp centered around the location of the alleged money laundering activities, with the judge noting that the majority took place in the United Kingdom. As a result, the High Court determined that British authorities should conduct an investigation to ascertain whether Hamilton can face criminal charges in his home country.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had initially advocated for Hamilton’s prosecution in the U.S., but the High Court’s decision prompts a reevaluation of this stance. City of London Police had closed their investigation in 2019, unaware of “potentially critical incriminating evidence” later discovered by U.S. authorities, according to Judge Sharp.

“The consequence of the appellant’s success on this appeal is not that he secures impunity. It is that he should be answerable to the law in the UK rather than the U.S.,” concluded Judge Sharp.

In response to the ruling, a CPS spokesperson stated, “We are carefully considering the High Court’s judgment.” Meanwhile, Hamilton’s legal representatives at Sonn Macmillan Walker declined to comment, and City of London Police has yet to respond to requests for commentary on the matter.

The decision marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing legal saga surrounding OneCoin, shedding light on jurisdictional complexities and emphasizing the importance of thorough investigations in transnational financial crimes. As the legal process unfolds, the implications of this ruling will undoubtedly resonate across international legal landscapes.