American helped hackers from DPRK to launder money into cryptocurrencies
The American and a gang of his accomplices helped North Korean hackers to launder millions of dollars in cryptocurrency equivalent through various fraudulent transactions with bank accounts. Now he faces 11 years in prison and a $30 million fine.
In a press release, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the sentencing of Ghaleb Alaumary, a Canadian-American who has become a key figure in the transfer of funds to North Korean military hackers.
In early 2020, the DOJ accused three North Korean military intelligence officials of stealing $1.3 billion in cyber attacks and extortion, including stealing $100 million from various crypto companies and a planned attack on Sony Pictures in "response" to a parody film. Interview ”about the North Korean dictatorship.
In the same 2020, Ghaleb Alaumary, who lives in Ontario, confessed to conspiring to launder money for North Korea 2018. He was a key link in laundering illegally obtained money, cashing them using ATMs, as well as involving third parties in this process. The hackers managed to bypass BankIslami's defenses, stealing about $6.1 million from a commercial Pakistani bank.
In addition to working with North Korean burglars, Alaumary admitted to working for other "clients." In response to one of the inquiries he received, the American ran a fraudulent scheme with a chain of emails with a Canadian university, posing as an employee of a construction company. On this "deal" he managed to get a transfer from the university for $9.4 million. Other victims also include several Asian banks and a British football club.
The US Department of Justice clarified that after receiving funds into the account, Alaumary laundered them using bank transfers and subsequent exchange into the equivalent of various digital currencies. Thanks to his efforts, tens of millions of dollars stolen from various local and international organizations were withdrawn from the country. In total, according to analysts at Chainalysis, North Korea stole more than $1.75 billion from exchanges.
As for the North Korean hackers, they are still at large and the US is unlikely to be able to extradite them. The reason for this is not only the absence of an extradition agreement but also the strained relations with the DPRK. This year, for the first time, the United States carried out the extradition of a DPRK citizen who was in Malaysia.