| NEWARK, N.J., April 1
NEWARK, N.J., April 1 Two American men said to
belong to an international cyber crime ring admitted hacking
into accounts at banks, brokerage firms and government agencies
in an attempt to steal some $15 million, New Jersey authorities
said on Tuesday.
The two 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 in a statement.
Robert Dubuc, 40, of Malden, Massachusetts, and Oleg
Pidtergerya, 49, of Brooklyn, New York, 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 cyber crime organization was allegedly led by Oleksiy
Sharapka and Leonid Yanovitsky of Kiev, Ukraine, he said. They
have been indicted on similar charges, but are at large.
The hackers 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 Sharapka and Yanovitsky 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 was scheduled for July 7 for Pidtergerya and July
8 for Dubuc.
A total of eight people faced charges in the case, the
The investigation was run by U.S. Secret Service, U.S
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, the U.S.
Department of Defense, the Internal Revenue Service and other
(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Gunna Dickson)