Daily fraud update: 1st June

Chris Lee
Dollar bills and physical Bitcoins hanging on a laundry line

Man arrested over money laundering allegations

A man from Ukraine who was taken into custody in New York last year has been told he will face charges relating to money laundering.

Vitalii Antonenko was first taken into custody in March of last year as he disembarked a plane at New York City’s JFK airport on his way into the US from Ukraine.

This came after law enforcement officials in the US said they had uncovered evidence that he was linked to a pair of Bitcoin wallets.

These wallets were allegedly used for money laundering purposes and had had a maximum of $94m in digital currency run through them for this purpose.

He is specifically accused of finding computer networks which could be accessed, perhaps through vulnerabilities such as loopholes.

He is then accused of taking and using card details which were stored on these systems.

Allegedly, he then went on to sell these on to a number of illicit markets across the globe.

In addition to the money laundering claims, he is also understood to have been hit with charges of card fraud – on both debit and credit cards.

Antonenko has since spent over a year in custody in the US, according to reports.

It is believed that he will now face a prison sentence of over two decades if he is found guilty.

He could also find himself having to pay a fine of $500,000.

The allegations against Antonenko, who is believed to be 28 years old, were contained in an indictment that was provided by the US Attorney’s office in the city of Boston.

The case has been notable for a number of reasons – not least its high values.

It has also been unusual given the psychological aspects.

In June of last year, for example, Antonenko’s legal team asked for him to receive a psychiatric evaluation.

This came after he apparently began to demonstrate signs of instability.

One crypto press outlet also said that Antonenko had claimed he was working for the US CIA.

JP Morgan “settles” in lawsuit case

JP Morgan Office Building

Major international bank JPMorgan Chase has apparently committed to pay a sum of over $2m in a case relating to a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit was first lodged back in 2018 and claimed that JPMorgan Chase – which is one of the world’s leading financial institutions – had overcharged customers who wanted to buy cryptocurrencies using its credit cards.

It alleged that the buying of crypto was wrongly listed as a cash advance without actually telling customers that this was what it was doing.

This, in turn, went against the Truth in Lending Act, the plaintiffs say.

Now, the bank appears to have given in.

According to press reports, this will now mean that those who brought the action will receive a figure close to the full amount they claim to have been wrongly charged in fees.

Specifically, they will receive approximately 95% of these fees.

Chris Lee

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