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WASHINGTON, October 14. /TASS/. Moldovan national Andrey Ghinkul was charged in absentia on Tuesday with "criminal conspiracy, unauthorized computer access with intent to defraud, damaging a computer, wire fraud and bank fraud," the press service of the US Department of Justice reported later on the same day.
"The indictment alleges that Ghinkul and his co-conspirators used the malware to steal banking credentials and then, using the stolen credentials, to initiate fraudulent electronic funds transfers of millions of dollars from the victims’ bank accounts into the accounts of money mules, who further transferred the stolen funds to other members of the conspiracy," it said.
"Specifically, according to the indictment, on Dec. 16, 2011, Ghinkul and others allegedly attempted to cause the electronic transfer of $999,000 from the Sharon, Pennsylvania, City School District’s account at First National Bank to an account in Kiev, Ukraine, using account information obtained through a phishing email," it said.
In addition, Ghinkul and others allegedly caused the international transfer on Aug. 31, 2012, of $2,158,600 from a bank in Pennsylvania to an account in Krasnodar, Russia, and the international transfer of $1,350,000 from the same bank to Minsk, Belarus in September of the same year, it continued.
Andrey Ghinkul was arrested in Cyprus on August 28. The United States seeks his extradition. "A sophisticated malware package designed to steal banking and other credentials from infected computers has been disrupted," the Department of Justice said.
The charges in a nine-count indictment were filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania, it said. The case was investigated with the participation of Europol, authorities of Great Britain, Germany and Moldova, it added.