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Two Russians convicted as money mules

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Two Russian men have been convicted for their roles as money mules who tried to siphon funds out of US bank accounts and send it to ringleaders in Ukraine.

Dmitry Vladislavovich Krivosheev, 25, and Maxim Valeryevich Illarionov, 24, who were living in Miami, last week were convicted of one count each of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by a federal jury in Oklahoma. The men set up bank accounts that received funds stolen from a Bank of America account belonging to Oklahoma City-based Powell Aircraft Title Services, according to court papers (PDF) filed in April.

According to prosecutors, the company's bank account came under control of unknown individuals in Ukraine who used malware to make fraudulent wired transfers. At least $1.3m has been fraudulently diverted from bank accounts using the scheme, they said.

A third man accused of recruiting the mules, Alexy Olegovich Petrov, was acquitted in the trial. According to court papers, he directed both mules to open the accounts and personally drove them various branches so they could make withdrawals and got a split of their proceeds.

Krivosheev and Illarionov face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and fines of $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be sent in about 90 days, prosecutors said.

The convictions come amid an unprecedented crackdown on money mules that's snagged scores of suspects in the US , the UK and Russia. ®

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