Posts Tagged With Cybercrime

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Yevgeniy Nikulin Appears in U.S. Court Following Extradition

On March 30, 2018, a Russian national charged with illegally accessing and stealing data from the computers of LinkedIn, DropBox, and Formspring made his initial appearance in federal court, following his extradition from the Czech Republic.  The defendant, Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, had been indicted for the crimes in 2016 and was detained on an international warrant. United States v. Nikulin, 16-cr-00440 (N.D. Cal.)

DOJ Press Release ... Continue Reading

Indictment Charges Nine Iranian Citizens with Massive Cyber Theft of Documents and Data on Behalf of Iranian Government

On March 23, 2018, an indictment was unsealed charging nine Iranian citizens, all affiliated with the Iran-based Mabna Institute, with involvement in a coordinated campaign to steal intellectual property and academic data from a variety of U.S. and foreign targets.  The indictment alleged that, in total, the defendants stole more than 31 terabytes of material from targets that included universities, private sector companies, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the United Nations Children’s Fund.  Many ... Continue Reading

Chief Executive and Four Associates Indicted for Conspiring with Global Drug Traffickers by Providing Encryption Services to Evade Law Enforcement and Obstruct Justice

On March 15, 2018, officials announced the indictment of the CEO of Canada-based encrypted communication device and services Phantom Secure, along with four associates, on charges of racketeering conspiracy and narcotics distribution conspiracy.  According to court documents, Phantom Secure advertised its devices and services as impervious to decryption, wiretapping, or legal records requests, and guaranteed that the company would remotely destroy evidence contained on customer devices in the event of compromise by informants or law ... Continue Reading

Two Russian Nationals Involved in Global Hacking Scheme Sentenced to Federal Prison Terms

On February 14, two Russian nationals were sentenced for their involvement in a scheme that hacked the systems of corporate victims to steal credit card numbers for resale worldwide.  Vladimir Drinkman was sentenced to 144 months in prison, and Dmitriy Smilianets was sentenced to 51 months.  The two defendants, as well as three others who are fugitives, caused hundreds of millions in losses in a scheme that compromised 160 million credit card numbers.  The scheme ... Continue Reading

Thirty-Six Defendants Indicted for Alleged Involvement in Global Cyberfraud Organization

On February 7, a Las Vegas grand jury returned a nine-count superseding indictment charging 36 individuals from the United States and six other countries with involvement in an international cyberfraud enterprise.  All 36 individuals were alleged to be involved in the “Infraud Organization,” an Internet-based fraud organization alleged to have cost $2.2 billion in losses to victims since 2010.  The organization is alleged to have trafficked largely in identity theft and hacking, and its victims ... Continue Reading

Chinese National Sentenced for Economic Espionage and Theft of a Trade Secret from U.S. Company

On January 18, 2018, Xu Jiaquiang was sentenced to five years in prison by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas of the Southern District of New York.  Xu pled guilty on May 19, 2017 to economic espionage and theft of a trade secret, in connection with Xu’s theft of his former employer’s proprietary source code, with intent to benefit the People’s Republic of China.  According to the charging documents, from November 2010 to May 2014, ... Continue Reading

New Mexico Man Pleads Guilty to Directing Computer Attacks Against Websites

On January 17, 2018, John Kelsey Gammell pled guilty to engaging in and directing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against websites across the nation.  He also pled guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  According to Gammell’s admissions, he engaged in a campaign of DDoS attacks for nearly two years.  A DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disable or interrupt service to a computer or website.  Gammell ... Continue Reading

IT Specialist Arrested for Allegedly Hacking into Servers of North Suburban Company Where He Formerly Worked as Contractor

On December 13, 2017, Edward Soybel was arrested on cyber hacking charges related to his alleged role in illegally accessing the servers of W.W. Grainger Inc. (“Grainger”).  The indictment states that Soybel intentionally caused damage to Grainger’s inventory management program.  Soybel worked at Grainger as a technical support contractor until he was terminated in early 2016.  The indictment charges Soybel with ten counts of intentionally causing damage to protected computers, one count of attempting to ... Continue Reading

Justice Department Announces Charges and Guilty Pleas in Three Computer Crime Cases Involving Significant DDoS Attacks

On December 13, 2017, federal authorities announced three individuals had entered guilty pleas in connection with multiple cyberattacks that targeted Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices across the world as well as the computer networks of Rutgers University.  New Jersey resident Paras Jha, Pennsylvania resident Josiah White, and Louisiana resident Dalton Norman each pled guilty to charges of conspiring to violate the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (“CFAA”) in U.S. District Court for the District of ... Continue Reading

Three Employees of Chinese Internet Security Firm Charged with Computer Hacking, Theft of Trade Secrets, Conspiracy, and Identity Theft Affecting Three Corporate Victims

On November 27, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Soo C. Song, and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Pittsburgh Division Robert Johnson announced the unsealing of an indictment charging three Chinese nationals with computer hacking, theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and identity theft from 2011 to May 2017.  The indictment charged these three individuals, employed by the ... Continue Reading

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Iranian National for Conducting Cyber Attack and a Multimillion-Dollar Extortion Scheme

On November 21, 2017, Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Behzad Mesri for his involvement in a fraudulent scheme to obtain unauthorized access to the computer systems of Home Box Office, Inc. (“HBO”) to steal proprietary information and to obtain $6 million worth of Bitcoin from HBO through extortion.  According to the government, Mesri is an Iran-based computer hacker who, at certain times, has been a member of ... Continue Reading

Day Trader Indicted in Computer Hacking and Securities Fraud Scheme Targeting Online Brokerage Accounts

On November 8, 2017, a federal grand jury in Brooklyn returned a four-count indictment charging Pennsylvania resident Joseph P. Willner with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and computer intrusions, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  According to the indictment, Willner and others conspired to hack into the online brokerage accounts of numerous victims and to place unauthorized trades in those accounts between September 2014 and May 2017.  Willner ... Continue Reading

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks at Cybersecurity Summits

In October 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein addressed attendees at three cybersecurity summits: the Cambridge Cyber Summit, the Global Cyber Security Summit, and the 2017 North American International Cyber Summit.  At all three conferences, Rosenstein focused on three areas: (1) the “scope of the cybersecurity threat” that confronts the United States, (2) the challenges the government faces in countering these threats, and (3) the “ways that law enforcement can help, before, during, and ... Continue Reading

Russian Cyber-Criminal Pled Guilty for Participation in Cybercrime Ring That Caused Losses of $50 Million in Online Identity Theft

On September 8, 2017, Roman Valeryevich Seleznev pled guilty in separate criminal actions in the District of Nevada and the Northern District of Georgia to one count of participation in a racketeering enterprise and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud for his role in an identity theft and credit card fraud ring known as “”  Seleznev admitted that, as part of the crime ring, he sold stolen credit card account data and other ... Continue Reading

Man Who Laundered Millions from Massive Computer Hacking and Telecommunications Fraud Scheme Gets 48 Months in Prison

On June 28, 2017, Muhammad Sohail Qasmani was sentenced to 48 months in prison in connection with a scheme to launder more than $19.6 million as part of a global computer hacking and telecommunications fraud scheme.  According to the documents filed in this and related cases, Noor Aziz of Karachi, Pakistan, allegedly led a scheme to  access without authorization the computer systems that ran the internal telephone networks of numerous businesses and organizations in the ... Continue Reading

Florida Man Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to 18 Months In Prison for Attempting to Gain Unauthorized Access and Cause Damage to the Computer Network of a Charitable Organization

On June 12, 2017, Timothy Sedlak was sentenced to 18 months in prison for attempting to gain unauthorized access to the computer network of a global, New York-based charitable organization (the “Organization”) and, in doing so, causing damage to the Organization’s computers.  According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court proceedings, from June 2015 to July 2015, computers associated with Sedlak’s residence in Florida made nearly 400,000 attempts to gain ... Continue Reading

Chicago Trader Sentenced to a Year in Federal Prison for Stealing Proprietary Trading Secrets from His Employer

On June 5, 2017, David J. Newman was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for stealing his employer’s proprietary trading code, a sentence he received in addition to a $100,000 fine and an order prohibiting him from using or disclosing the stolen trade secrets.  Over the course of five months, Newman downloaded and stole all of the proprietary computer code and trading software that belonged to his employer, WH Trading LLC, and ... Continue Reading

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks at the Emerging Frauds in the Digital Age Conference

On May 23, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein addressed attendees at the Emerging Frauds in the Digital Age Conference, focusing in particular on some specific ways technological advancements have offered both “new investment vehicles to stimulate the economy and bring economic growth” as well as “new avenues for criminals to engage in larger, more devastating fraud schemes and to avoid detection.”  Rosenstein first discussed new opportunities and problems presented by unregulated online “crowdfunding,” which ... Continue Reading

Hacker Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Role in Largest Known Computer Hacking and Securities Fraud Scheme

On May 22, 2017, Vadym Iermolovych, a Ukrainian hacker, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $3,004,685.06 in restitution for his involvement in a conspiracy to hack into three business newswires and gain early access to press releases containing non-public financial information about hundreds of companies, including Hewlett Packard, Home Depot, and Panera Bread Co.  Iermolovych previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, ... Continue Reading

Software Engineer Charged with Attempting to Steal Proprietary Trading Code from His Employer

On April 13, 2017, Dmitry Sazonov was charged with attempted theft of trade secrets for his alleged attempted theft of proprietary computer code for a trading platform from his employer, a financial services firm with an office in New York.  According to the complaint, Sazonov allegedly took various steps to attempt to steal proprietary code in advance of a February 3, 2017 meeting with a supervisor about the future of his role at the firm.  ... Continue Reading

Computer Engineer Arrested for Theft of Proprietary Trading Code from His Employer

On April 7, 2017, Zhengquan Zhang was charged with theft of trade secrets for his alleged theft of trading code associated with proprietary algorithmic trading models from his employer, a global financial services company in New York, and was arrested in Santa Clara, California.  According to the complaint, Zhang took steps to steal the code between December 2016 and March 2017, including installing code to identify encryption keys to gain access to the proprietary code, ... Continue Reading

Man Indicted for Theft of Over $100 Million in Fraudulent Email Scheme Against Multinational Internet Companies

On March 21, 2017, criminal charges were announced against Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania in connection with a fraudulent business email compromise scheme that induced two U.S.-based internet companies—a multinational technology company and a multinational online social media company (the “Victim Companies”)—to wire over $100 million to bank accounts that he controlled.  Rimasauskas was arrested by authorities in Lithuania.  According to the indictment, from at least 2013 through 2015, Rimasauskas orchestrated a scheme in which he ... Continue Reading

Former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of China Medical Technologies Indicted in Connection with Securities Fraud Scheme

On March 20, 2017, an indictment charging Xiaodong Wu, the founder, CEO and Board Chairman of China Medical Technologies, Inc. (China Medical), and Tak Yung Samson Tsang, the CFO and a member of the Board of Directors of China Medical, with securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud was unsealed in the Eastern District of New York.  According to the indictment, Wu and Tsang allegedly defrauded China Medical’s noteholders and investors ... Continue Reading

Former Chairman and CEO of Credit Union and Operator of Unlawful Bitcoin Exchange Convicted at Trial in Connection with Bribery and Fraud Scheme

On March 17, 2017, Trevon Gross, the former Chairman and CEO of HOPE FCU, a federal credit union in New Jersey with primarily low-income members, and Yuri Lebedev, a former employee of, an unlawful internet-based Bitcoin exchange, were found guilty after a four-week jury trial, in connection with a bribery scheme to gain control of HOPE FCU and a fraud scheme to evade detection of  Between 2013 and July 2015, Lebedev and his ... Continue Reading