The US Department of justice has charged two Russian citizens with organizing a multi-year fraudulent scheme to defraud users of three cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to us law enforcement agencies, Voronezh resident Danil Potekhin (under the pseudonym cronuswar) and Dmitry Karasavidi from Moscow launched fake sites of cryptocurrency exchanges Poloniex, Binance and Gemini. The first of the sites appeared in 2017.
Users who got to the phishing site of hackers by mistake entered their credentials, which got to Potekhin and Karasavidi. Attackers used this data to gain access to victims ‘ accounts on real exchanges and withdraw cryptocurrencies to their wallets. Then they transferred the received funds to intermediate wallets and exchanged them for Fiat money.
The number of victims is several hundred. Court documents refer to 313 deceived users of the Poloniex exchange, 142 users of the Binance platform and 42 users of Gemini. The total damage amounted to $16 876 000. Interestingly, in addition to fraud, two Russian citizens are also accused of manipulating the market using cheap altcoins:
“The accused created many fictitious accounts on the same platform, and from each they bought an inexpensive digital currency called GAS. To buy GAS, they used funds from three stolen accounts totaling $5 million. In this way, they significantly increased the demand and price of GAS, and quickly sold the assets on their fake accounts.”
Under American law, Russian citizens can receive up to 59 years in prison. Recall that the French correctional court recently rejected the request of Alexander Vinnik’s lawyers to release him before the main hearing, which will begin on October 19.