Wednesday, 02 December, 2020

Chinese nationals charged with iTunes money laundering

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Some of the money was utilized to acquire iTunes gift playing cards

Two Chinese nationals have been billed with laundering $100m (£78m) of stolen crypto-currency and converting $1.4m of it into iTunes cards.

US officers allege Tian Yinyin and Li Jiadong acted as cash mules for a infamous hacker group they believe to be doing work on behalf of the North Korean government.

The Lazarus Group is believed to be at the rear of the WannaCry attack in 2017.

It is also blamed for a 2018 hack of an unnamed crypto-forex trade.

In accordance to the indictment, in 2018, the North Korean co-conspirators hacked into a digital forex trade and stole forex worth virtually $250m.

The money were allegedly laundered by way of hundreds of automated crypto-currency transactions aimed at protecting against law enforcement from tracing them.

A part of the laundered cash was allegedly made use of to fork out for infrastructure employed in North Korean hacking campaigns towards the economical field.

The pleadings further more allege that in between December 2017 and April 2019, the Chinese pair laundered digital currency worthy of about $100m, which primarily arrived from hacks on the exchanges.

Some of the dollars was laundered by providing Bitcoin for pre-compensated Apple iTunes gift playing cards.

Illicit cash

The Department of Justice stated it experienced filed a civil action to seize belongings on 113 virtual currency accounts used by the defendants and some others tied to the plan.

“Currently, we are publicly exposing a felony network’s important help to North Korea’s cyber-heist program and seizing the fruits of its crimes,” claimed Assistant Attorney Basic John C Demers of the US Justice Department’s Nationwide Security Division.

“The hacking of digital currency exchanges and associated income laundering for the advantage of North Korean actors poses a grave danger to the security and integrity of the world-wide economical system,” added US attorney Timothy J Shea of the District of Columbia.

“These costs should provide as a reminder that legislation enforcement, via its partnerships and collaboration, will uncover illegal activity right here and abroad, and charge those dependable for unlawful acts and seize illicit money even when in the sort of virtual currency.”

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