Russian national gets 12 years in prison for hacks of J.P. Morgan Chase, others
NEW YORK - A highly skilled Russian hacker for hire who breached the networks of J.P. Morgan Chase, The Wall Street Journal and other major institutions - stealing information from over 100 million victims - was sentenced to a dozen years in federal prison Thursday.
Assisting other international criminals in illegal gambling, securities fraud and payment processing operations, professional cybercriminal Andrei Tyurin personally made about $20 million targeting financial institutions, brokerage firms and publishers of financial news on behalf of the partners he worked with between 2007 and 2015, according to prosecutors.
The partners, who were also indicted by the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, made hundreds of millions of dollars with the stolen customer data in scams that revolved around illegal online casinos and pharmaceutical stores, as well as payment processing. For themselves and other illegal business operations, they manipulated data to conceal the true nature of credit and debit card transactions from Visa and Mastercard.
Tyurin, 37, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and bank fraud charges in 2019 for selling the stolen information to the crew headed by Tel Aviv-based Gery Shalon and working on his behalf to hack the computer networks of competition. Tyurin's hacking of J.P. Morgan Chase alone netted 80 million victims and is considered one of the largest thefts of customer information against a U.S. financial institution in history.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, and he will be deported after his release.
Prosecutors said Tyurin for a time worked exclusively for Shalon, who is an Israeli citizen. Shalon with two other men, Joshua Samuel Aaron and Ziv Orenstein, "ran a variety of criminal businesses" that "catered to U.S. customers," yet Tyurin was the "key" to the group's ability to turn massive profits at least in part because they could stay ahead of competition through his breaches, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. attorney's office.
Tyurin infiltrated organizations including E-Trade and Scottrade, facilitating a lucrative pump-and-dump scheme by Shalon and Aaron, according to prosecutors.
According to the memo, the group procured servers in Brazil, Egypt, the Czech Republic, South Africa and other countries to assist Tyurin's efforts.
"Tyurin then used this infrastructure, from his home in Moscow, to gain unlawful access to the companies' computer networks and to receive data stolen from those networks as a result of his work," says the memo filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eun Young Choi.
Shalon was arrested at his home in Israel in 2015, leading investigators to uncover the identity of Tyurin through materials and communications that were recovered, authorities said. Shalon and Orenstein were extradited to be prosecuted in the United States in June 2016. Aaron was also arrested before Tyurin's apprehension in the former Soviet republic Georgia in December 2017.
Tyurin was ordered to forfeit about $20 million, and he will owe about as much in restitution after a hearing scheduled for April 6.
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