Robert Dubuc, aged 40, of Malden, Mass., and 49-year-old Oleg Pidtergerya, of Brooklyn, NY, have both pleaded guilty in a New Jersey federal court to being involved in a massive international cybercrime scheme.
The suspects have pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft. For the wire fraud conspiracy count, the defendants face up to 20 years in jail, while for the access device fraud and identity count, they can get up to five years in prison.
They can also be ordered to pay a $250,000 (€181,000) fine or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses they committed. This applies for each count.
According to the US Department of Justice, the two worked for Oleksiy Sharapka, 33, the mastermind of the international cybercrime operation, and his right-hand man Leonid Yanovitsky, 39. Both Sharapka and Yanovitsky are from Kiev, Ukraine.
Pidtergerya and Dubuc were in charge of managing “cash out” crews in New York and Massachusetts. These crews were responsible for withdrawing criminal proceeds from bank accounts and pre-paid debit cards.
In the first phase of the scheme, hackers gained access to the bank accounts of customers of various high-profile organizations, including Aon Hewitt, Automatic Data Processing, Citibank, E-Trade, Electronic Payments, JP Morgan Chase, Nordstrom Bank, PayPal, TD Ameritrade, and various government agencies.
The money from the compromised accounts was diverted by the masterminds of the operation to bank accounts and pre-paid debit cards they controlled. The cash out crews like the ones operated by Pidtergerya and Dubuc were responsible with withdrawing the stolen funds or performing fraudulent purchases in various states across the United States.
The suspects admitted that the cards and accounts used in the process were created without the consent of the individuals in whose names they were opened. They sent the proceeds of the offenses to the Ukrainian leaders of the operation. The fraudsters attempted to steal at least $15 million (€10.7 million).
Pidtergerya and Dubuc will be sentenced on July 7, 2014, and July 8, 2014, respectively.
Sharapka, Yanovitsky and another member of the conspiracy, Richard Gunderson from Brooklyn, were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud and identity theft, and aggravated identity theft back in March.
Sharapka and Yanovitsky are fugitives. Several other individuals suspected of being involved in this case were arrested in June 2013, when US authorities cracked down on the operation.