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Criminals piled up profit from fake tax filings and withdrawals from accounts at compromised institutions

Six East Coast residents are accused [PDF] of being part of an eight-member ring of cyberthieves who aimed to steal over $15M USD by hacking into financial institutions and the U.S. Military's payroll service.  The pair that organized the ring lives in Russia and Ukraine.

The sophisticated ring reportedly began their attacks by gaining access to secured networks at the target institutions then identifying digital account information and ordering small transfers to debit cards controlled by the cyberthieves (a practice commonly known as "skimming").  The cyberthieves then sought to double their score by ordering replacement Social Security Cards in the names of the victims and filing falsified tax returns in their names with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking refunds.

Targeted financial institutions included JPMorgan Chase & Comp. (JPM), Citibank, N.A., and eBay, Inc.'s (EBAY) PayPal.  The suspects reportedly organized crews of "cashers" in New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Illinois, and elsewhere to withdraw stolen funds from the debit accounts.  Some of the money was then wired to the organizers in Ukraine.

Meet the accused cybercriminals:

The first suspect in the case is Robert Dubuc of Malden, Mass., 40.  Mr. Duben is a veteran of the 534th MP Company, which was stationed at the Panama Canal, according to his Facebook.com, Inc. (FBprofile page.  He alleged served as a crew manager for the operation.

Robert Dubuc
Robert Dubuc, 40 [Image Source: Facebook]

Mr. Dubuc's accused underling was Lamar Taylor, 37, of Salem, Mass.  Mr. Taylor is at large.

Oleg Pidtergerya [Facebook], 49, of Brooklyn, New York is the second accused crew leader.  

Oleg Pidtergerya
Oleg Pidtergerya, 49 [Image Source: Facebook]

Richard Gunderson, 46, was an underling of Mr. Pidtergerya in Brooklyn.  Mr. Gunderson is currently at large.

The third accused crew leader, Andrey Yarmolitskiy, resided in Atlanta, Georgia.  Andrey Yarmolitskiy, 41, managed his crew of cashers in the southern state.  His Facebook profile lists his hometown as Odessa, Ukraine.

Andry Yarmolitskiy
Andrey Yarmolitskiy, 41 [Facebook]

A sixth man -- Ilya Ostapyuk [Facebook], 31 -- of Brooklyn is accused of helping move the proceeds of the fraud scheme.  He appears to also be from Ukraine.

Ilya Ostapyuk
Ilya Ostapyuk, 31 [Image Source: Facebook]

The scheme was allegedly organized by Oleksiy Sharapka, 33, of Kiev, Ukraine, who had just been released in 2012 from a 102-month (8 and 1/2 year) prison stay for a digital ATM theft scheme in the Massachusetts area.  Following the release he was deported, but that didn't stop him from using his contacts to establish a new cybercrime ring.

Leonid Yanovitsky, 38, of Kiev is also accused of helping the scheme.  Both Kiev residents are currently at large, according to local authorities.

The accused U.S. crew leaders are being charged with  conspiracy to commit wire fraud (18 USC § 1343), conspiracy to commit money laundering (18 USC § 1956), and conspiracy to commit identity theft (18 USC § 1028).  Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, money laundering carries a 20 year maximum sentence, and identity theft carries a maximum 15 year sentence.

Source: Department of Defense



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Accused
By roykahn on 6/13/2013 11:07:00 AM , Rating: 0
I really don't understand how many journalists post details of accused criminals, including pictures, when they haven't been proven guilty yet. Are we really so obsessed with the subjects' appearances that we can't read stories without seeing visuals? What if the accused person is proven to be innocent? It seems like reputations aren't being valued.




RE: Accused
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/13/2013 11:12:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I really don't understand how many journalists post details of accused criminals, including pictures, when they haven't been proven guilty yet. Are we really so obsessed with the subjects' appearances that we can't read stories without seeing visuals? What if the accused person is proven to be innocent? It seems like reputations aren't being valued.
If you post pictures of yourself on the internet publicly they will likely be used if there's news regarding you -- be it good or bad.

Most major news agencies (see, for example, the Bradley Manning case) such as Reuters consider this an acceptable practice.

If you don't want people to see your pictures, make your Facebook profile non-searchable or don't have a Facebook at all, better yet.


RE: Accused
By roykahn on 6/13/2013 12:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most major news agencies (see, for example, the Bradley Manning case) such as Reuters consider this an acceptable practice.


That's the point I'm trying to raise. Why is it acceptable to publicize the identities of people who are accused (but not yet proven) of criminality? The main article could just as easily have referred to the accused by age, profession, nationality, but did not need names and identifiable pictures. News agencies also do that in some cases. Why are some identified and others not?


RE: Accused
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/13/2013 1:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on the charges usually and who all is involved. In general though the media will pull pictures of the people involved and get them published as soon as they possibly can. While you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, the media likes to hold a court of opinion and pretty much condemn anyone that is picked up for these types of things. Realistically, all of these guys are probably guilty since it was a ring the federal authorities busted. They might be able to plea bargain for leniency, but all of them were knee deep to get busted all at once.


RE: Accused
By Justme1432 on 6/13/2013 8:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
Those pictures are not accurate anyway some of these faces shown are not of the alleged person


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