Ukrainian man tried in Atlanta for alleged role in Estonian-led crime ring

ATM in Estonia. Photo is illustrative. (Valgamaalane/Scanpix)
8/9/2016 10:48 AM
Source: BNS
Category: News

A Ukrainian man has been indicted in Atlanta for his role in a major cyber crime led by Estonian national Sergei Tshurikov which stole more than nine million U.S. dollars from 2,100 ATMs worldwide in 2008, the Atlanta Patch reported.

Evgeny Tarasovich Levitskyy, 31, was arraigned on Monday before a US magistrate judge on charges of wire and bank fraud. Levitskyy was indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 13, 2015.

"In just one day in 2008, an American credit card processor was hacked in perhaps one of the most sophisticated and organized computer fraud attacks ever conducted," said US Attorney John Horn.

In November 2008, the hackers obtained access to the computer network of RBS WorldPay, what was then the US payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, located in Atlanta. The group compromised the bank's data encryption used to protect customer data on payroll debit cards.

The hackers raised the account limits on compromised accounts to amounts exceeding one million dollars, then provided a network of cashers with 44 counterfeit payroll debit cards which were used to withdraw more than nine million dollars from over 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities worldwide, including cities in the US, Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada.

The people making the end withdrawals were allowed to keep 30 to 50 percent of the stolen funds, but transmitted the bulk of the money back to Tshurikov and his co-defendants.

Tshurikov and his accomplices were arrested on May 6, 2009 after cooperation between Estonian and US authorities. He was extradited to the US in 2010.

After pleading guilty to charges on Sept. 11, 2012, Tshurikov was sentenced to eleven years, three months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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