The 28-year-old New York resident Vitalii Antonenko allegedly worked with co-conspirators to sell stolen payment card data and other personally identifiable information through online cybercrime marketplaces. Vitalii and his gang allegedly used SQL injection techniques to hack into vulnerable e-commerce sites and steal payment card data. According to a statement by US prosecutors, Antonenko and others allegedly used bitcoin as well as traditional bank and cash transactions to launder the proceeds of these illicit sales.
Vitalii charged with money laundering and several other crimes.
In March 2019, Vitalii Antonenko was arrested and detained on money laundering charges at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. He arrived there from Ukraine, carrying computers and other digital media that allegedly held hundreds of thousands of stolen payments card numbers. Earlier this week, he was indicted on one count of conspiracy to hack into computer networks, trafficking in unauthorized access devices, and one count of money laundering conspiracy. According to the US Department of Justice, the conspiracy to gain unauthorized access and to traffic in access devices provides for up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and forfeiture.
If convicted of the most serious money laundering offenses, Vitalii Antonenko faces a potential jail term of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, restitution, and forfeiture.
Crypto scams surge amid the ongoing pandemic.
Earlier, the FBI had issued a warning about the potential surge in the scams related to cryptocurrency in the country. The scammers are playing on the desperation and fear of people in a time like this. The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that fraudsters are leveraging increased fear and uncertainty during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money and launder it through the complex cryptocurrency ecosystem. The scammers are tailoring their pitch to the current situation, and even posing as newly-remote workers collecting “donations” via email. Some are impersonating as charities that accept cryptocurrency, which is a major red flag, according to the FBI.