A man was ordered to pay over $98,000 in restitution and was sentenced to over seven years in prison for his role in a scheme helping Eastern European cybercriminals to launder money stolen from U.S. bank accounts.
38-year-old Aleksandr Musienko, from Ukraine, got involved with the hackers from 2009 to 2012 to steal over $3 million from U.S. bank accounts and then launder them overseas. The hackers would use information gathered about the victims in order to impersonate them and fool the bank into thinking the withdrawals were legitimate, according to a release from the Department of Justice.
Man Sentenced for Operating Multi-Million Dollar International Money Laundering Schemehttps://t.co/SDAPpc91JH
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) February 11, 2021
Musienko’s main role was to oversee the recruiting and directing “money mules” to get the stolen funds overseas. He used an alias and would post on employment websites that he was hiring a financial assistant. He would then instruct the mules, who thought they were working for a legitimate business, to assist clients transfer funds overseas, reported WBTV.
In 2011, Musienko’s partners hacked into a company in North Carolina and and transferred over $296,000 to two accounts controlled by Musienko’s mules. The mules were then instructed to transfer the money into several European bank accounts. One bank did detect the fraud and deducted the stolen funds from a mule before it was ever transferred over, according to the release. (RELATED: North Korean Hackers Are Targeting Cybersecurity Researchers By Posing As Bloggers, Google Says)
In 2016, sealed charges were filed against Musienko. In 2018, he was arrested in South Korea and extradited to the U.S. Musienko pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud.
Around 2019, Musienko’s laptop was searched by the FBI and found over 120,000 payment card numbers as well as information on others involved besides Musienko.