Three men on their way to scoring more than $15 million in a cyber crime scheme instead scored formal charges in New Jersey District Court for their alleged roles in the international conspiracy, according to an indictment filed on Monday.
Two of the defendants – 33-year-old Oleksiy Sharapka and 39-year-old Leonid Yanovitsky – are from Kiev, Ukraine, and 47-year-old Richard Gundersen hails from Brooklyn, New York.
The men are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft, and aggravated identity theft, according to the indictment, which explains how the alleged fraudsters worked with hackers to obtain personal and account information from financial institutions.
The group – known as Sharapka Cash Out Organization, because the 33-year-old is the alleged ringleader – sought to cash out in a number of ways, including by diverting money to fraudulent accounts, filing fraudulent tax returns, sending runners to ATMs, and making fraudulent purchases.
“In total, defendant [Sharapka] and his co-conspirators attempted to defraud the Victim Companies, their customers, and the IRS of in excess of approximately $15 million during the scheme,” according to the indictment.
The bank accounts that were compromised are from various financial institutions, including Aon Hewitt, Automatic Data Processing Inc., Citibank N.A., E-Trade, Electronic Payments Inc., Fundtech Holdings LLC, iPayment Inc., JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., Nordstrom Bank, PayPal, TD Ameritrade, TIAA-CREF, USAA, Veracity Payment Solutions Inc., and U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
Each man faces a maximum sentence of 27 years for all charges, if convicted.