A month after an international plot to steal $45 million from ATMs around the world came tumbling down, a new international "cashing" ring is being charged in a nearly identical caper. Prosecutors revealed that a group of cybercriminals attempted to defraud over a dozen financial institutions of more than $15 million.
According to the recently-unsealed criminal complaint, 33 year-old Oleksiy Sharapka was at the center of the "cash out crew," and had just finished serving a 102-month prison sentence in Massachusetts before being deported to the Ukraine last year. From his home in Kiev, Sharapka oversaw a scheme to siphon money from hacked accounts at institutions ranging from Citibank and Paypal to payroll firm Automated Data Processing, transferring it to some 300 prepaid debit cards he controlled. Sharapka’s six co-conspirators in the US then used the cards to withdraw hundreds of thousands of dollars from ATMs, depositing the money into several secondary bank accounts.
So far, four of the eight accomplices have been arrested, including one who was taken into custody just upon arriving at New York’s JFK Airport, writes the IDG. And according to The Boston Globe, the group might have gotten away with it had it not been for one victim, whose stolen credit card number was used to buy a Dell computer, prompting a call to the authorities.