Two Plead Guilty to Hacking Charges

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 @ 01:04 PM gHale

Two American men admitted to hacking into accounts at banks, brokerage firms and government agencies in an attempt to steal $15 million, New Jersey authorities said last Tuesday.

The two, said to belong to an international cyber crime ring, were part of a scheme to “cash out” bank accounts and pre-paid debit cards opened in the names of others, said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.

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Robert Dubuc, 40, of Malden, MA, and Oleg Pidtergerya, 49, of Brooklyn, NY, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft before U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton federal court, Fishman said.

Dubuc entered his plea on Tuesday and Pidtergerya did so on Monday, he said.

The leaders of a cyber crime organization headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine, are currently under indictment, but remain at large, federal officials said.

Dubuc and Pidtergerya tapped into accounts in 2012 and 2013 at global financial businesses and institutions — Citibank N.A., JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., PayPal, TD Ameritrade, the U.S. Department of Defense, TIAA-CREF and others — and diverted money to accounts and debit cards they controlled, Fishman said.

They then employed “cash out” operations, using people who would withdraw the stolen funds at ATMs and with fraudulent purchases in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Georgia and elsewhere, he said.

Pidtergerya and Dubuc admitted sending proceeds of the fraud to the leaders in Ukraine, the prosecutor said.

The investigation identified attempts to defraud companies and customers of more than $15 million, he said.

Wire fraud conspiracy carries a potential sentence of 20 years in prison, while the other two charges each carry the possibility of five years in prison, as well as heavy fines.

Sentencing will be July 7 for Pidtergerya and July 8 for Dubuc.

The U.S. Secret Service, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies were a part of the investigation.

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