Cybercrime laundering group members enter guilty plea
CyberScoop reports that two members of the European-based crime group QQAAZZ have pleaded guilty to engaging in cybercrime cash and cryptocurrency laundering.
Defendants Aleksejs Trofimovics and Arturs Zaharevics, along with 18 others, have been charged by the U.S. government for their participation in QQAAZZ, which has been accused of laundering tens of millions of dollars from victims of cyberattacks in 16 countries. Fourteen members of the group have been indicted following last fall's crackdown by U.S. and European law enforcement agencies.
The U.S. Justice Department said that Trofimovics created 13 corporate bank accounts under a Portugal-based shell company to help facilitate the money laundering scheme, while Zaharevics used a shell company and a false name to establish foreign bank accounts.
"These individuals operated a money laundering scheme working in concert with cyber criminals who stole from unsuspecting victims in the United States and around the globe. Their guilty pleas are proof no one can hide behind a computer or an international border," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall.
Strengthening cybersecurity defenses will be the focus of U.S. National Cyber Director Chris Inglis' planned visit to Japan this month, which seeks to bolster the cybersecurity partnership between the U.S. and Japan, reports CyberScoop.