A hacker who broke into brokerage accounts at Charles Schwab, laundered more than $246,000, and sold stolen credit-card numbers has been sentenced by the Manhattan Federal Court to 37 months in prison.
From approximately September 2006 through December 2007, Aleksey Volynskiy and Alexander Bobnev participated in a scheme to steal money from bank and brokerage accounts by hacking into those accounts through the Internet, using personal financial information obtained through computer viruses, and then laundering the stolen proceeds.
To carry out this scheme, Bobnev and co-conspirators in Russia used Trojans to hack into the computers of multiple victims in the United States. These Trojans were designed to steal personal account information from individuals as they accessed their bank and brokerage accounts through the Internet.
After the Trojans captured the victims’ personal account information, Bobnev and other co-conspirators used the information to access victims’ bank and brokerage accounts, and then made unauthorized sales of securities and unauthorized wire transfers out of these accounts.
Volynskiy, along with co-conspirators living in the United States, then set up various drop accounts to receive the funds stolen from their victims’ bank and brokerage accounts. He and the co-conspirators then sent a portion of the stolen funds from the various drop accounts in the United States to co-conspirators in Russia, through money remitting services, keeping a portion of the fraud proceeds for themselves.
Volynskiy was arrested Dec. 4, 2008, and pleaded guilty Aug. 4, 2009, to five counts, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and unlawfully access and damage a protected computer, money laundering and access device fraud.