Feeds

Feds cuff five more suspects in $45m bank mega-cyber-heist

'Packing bags to the brim with stolen cash' claims prosecutor

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

US Federal authorities have arrested five people accused of aiding a massive electronic bank heist in New York earlier this year.

The US District Attorney's office for Eastern New York said that the five were detained following the discovery of photographic evidence that allegedly links the men to a $45m cash-swindling operation.

Today according to police, the four men and one woman were part of a larger cybercrime gang that organized an international network of money mules. Hackers breached a number of banks' computer networks to obtain debit-card information which was then fed to the mules along with instructions to withdraw cash from ATMs at a coordinated time frame, it is claimed.

Authorities accuse Anthony Diaz, 24, Saul Franjul, 23, Saul Genao, 24, Jaindhi Polanco, 29, and Jose Angeley Valerio, 25, of aiding in the operation and helping to funnel money from the mule network – such as allegedly sending $800,000 in a suitcase to a man in Florida who was among the masterminds of the ATM operation. All five of those arrested today lived in Yonkers, New York.

The use of money mules has emerged among criminal groups as a favorite method of laundering and transporting money obtained from bank fraud and other cybercrime activities. Lured in by the promise of easy money, the mules are asked to accept fraudulent deposits and then either withdraw funds as cash or send them as wire transfers and money orders to the hacker.

The five suspects will be charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and will be included alongside seven other people in the criminal bust. One additional defendant is now deceased.

"As alleged, just a few months ago, after exploiting cyber-weaknesses in the financial system to steal millions from ATMs, these defendants were packing bags to the brim with stolen cash, destined for the cybercriminal organizers of these attacks," claimed US Attorney Loretta Lynch.

"Today, we have sent them packing once again – but this time, to jail."

The five face up to seven and a half years in prison on the charge of access device fraud conspiracy, as well as forfeiture and a fine of up to $250,000, if convicted. The US Department of Justice notes that "the charges contained in [today's] indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants, including those charged today, are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.