Canadian gets 11 years prison for laundering North Korean loot with crypto
A Canadian money launderer has been jailed for more than 11 years after pleading guilty to leveraging crypto to wash millions of dollars for “some of the world’s worst cybercriminals.”
Ontario resident Ghaleb Alaumary, a dual Canadian and US citizen, held up his hands to two counts of conspiracy to launder funds stolen in bank fraud and wire transfer schemes.
These include a huge 2019 heist on a Maltese bank pulled off by North Korean hackers.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) says Alaumary and his network used email scams, bank cyber-heists, and ATM cash-outs to rob victims before laundering the loot through crypto and bank accounts.
According to DoJ documents, the 36-year-old fessed up to the charges in the Southern District of Georgia. He now has to pay $30 million in damages.
The first case against Alaumary showed he and accomplices posed as a construction company to con a Canadian university out of more than $9 million.
The second (which was transferred from California) involved Alaumary recruiting individuals to withdraw stolen money via ATMs from accounts he’d set up.
He then washed the funds by buying crypto, wire transfers, and other miscellaneous withdrawals.
Banks, UK soccer clubs fair game for crypto launderer
As well as the Maltese bank, victims of Alaumary’s scams included banks in India and Pakistan, individuals in the US, and a professional soccer club in the UK.
Some of his co-conspirators were also linked to the infamous WannaCry ransomware attacks in 2017, which crippled the UK’s National Health Service.
Reacting to Alaumary’s arrest and sentencing, Acting US Attorney David H. Estes said Alaumary served as an “integral conduit in a network of cybercriminals” responsible for stealing “tens of millions of dollars” from victims across the globe.
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“He laundered money for a rogue nation and some of the world’s worst cybercriminals, and he managed a team of co-conspirators who helped to line the pockets and digital wallets of thieves,” said Estes, our emphasis.
“But U.S. law enforcement, working in conjunction with its partners throughout the world, will bring to justice fraudsters who think they can hide behind a computer screen.”
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