Earlier today, Vyacheslav Khaimov pled guilty at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, to the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business in connection with his role in an international cybercrime operation.
The plea was announced by Robert L. Capers, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI).
According to court filings, the scheme involved sophisticated malware, which co-conspirators used to obtain unlawful access to victims’ bank accounts – most of which were in U.S. banks. The illegally obtained funds were then transferred via wire to the bank accounts of a network of individuals within the United States who, in turn, further transmitted the money, or portions of the money, either to additional U.S.-based intermediaries or directly overseas. As part of this scheme, Brooklyn-based Khaimov received over $230,000 in funds fraudulently withdrawn from the bank accounts of at least eight bank account takeover victims via wire transfers and cashier’s checks from a network of intermediary “mules.” To date, the FBI has identified over $1.2 million in losses attributable to the malware scheme and more than $6 million in attempted losses.
“The proliferation of malicious software is a scourge on our society. Cybercriminal networks like the network that the defendant allegedly was a part of are responsible for pillaging innocent victims’ bank accounts and wreaking havoc on our financial institutions through the use of malware. They will be pursued and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” stated United States Attorney Capers.
“Modern-day bank robbers no longer need a gunman and a getaway driver. Today, they just need a malware operator and money mules to carry out their crime from anywhere in the world. Brooklyn-based Vyacheslav Khaimov, pleaded guilty for his role as a money mule in a multi-million dollar malware scheme where he moved funds from victim accounts into other accounts. This is an ongoing investigation conducted by the FBI’s Cyber Task Force. We will continue to investigate all co-conspirators and bring them to justice,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Una A. Dean, Tiana Demas, and Margaret Lee.