Three Indicted in Cybercrime Scheme
It was an unlucky St. Patrick's Day for three alleged members of an international cybercrime, money laundering and identity theft conspiracy.
The defendants, from New York and Ukraine, were charged Monday in Newark with a scheme to use information from more than a dozen global financial institutions in an attempt to steal at least $15 million.
"If convicted, each of the defendants face a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy to commit wire fraud count, five years in prison on the conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft count, and a consecutive term of two years in prison on the aggravated identity theft counts," the U.S. Attorney's office stated in a press release.
All counts also come with a hefty fine upon conviction.
The defendants and conspirators gained unauthorized access to the bank accounts of American customers, the office said, and then diverted money to other bank accounts and pre-paid debit cards. A sophisticated "cash out" operation would employ individuals to withdraw the stolen funds. Stolen identities were used to facilitate the withdrawals, the office indicated.