Man linked to $1.3B North Korean BTC hacks gets 11 years in prison

Man linked to $1.3B North Korean BTC hacks gets 11 years in prison

A man who allegedly masterminded the laundering of vast amounts of funds obtained through hacks, cyber heists, and other illegal activities has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars. The man, known as Ghaleb Alaumary, is accused of having helped North Korean hackers who made off with $1.3 billion targeting banks and digital currency firms, among other crimes.

The 36-year-old Canadian was sentenced to 140 months in prison by the Southern District of Georgia, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. Judge Stan Baker also ordered him to pay $30.7 million in restitution to the victims of his crimes. He must also serve a three-year supervised release sentence.

Alaumary has been linked to several illicit activities, almost always being the one laundering the money for the bad guys. One of these is his links to a network of North Korean hackers that wreaked havoc on financial institutions, from banks to digital currency exchanges.

As CoinGeek reported earlier this year, the DoJ indicted three hackers for using extortion and cyber-attacks to steal from banks in Vietnam, Malta, Mexico, and more. They also allegedly stole over $100 million from digital currency startups in Slovenia, Indonesia, and the United States.

Alaumary is accused of laundering money for the crime ring, an offense he pleaded guilty to. Authorities said he worked by recruiting others and providing them with bank accounts to withdraw cash and transfer it via wire transfers and digital currencies.

In other crimes, he impersonated a construction company and defrauded close to $10 million from a Canadian university and as a wealthy bank customer through which he stole hundreds of thousands from victims in Texas.

“International money launderers provide critical services to cybercriminals, helping hackers and fraudsters to avoid detection and hide their illicit profits,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite Jr. remarked. “Alaumary’s sentence today reflects how seriously the Department of Justice considers the critical role that money launderers play in global cybercrime.”

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