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A bitcoin exchange operator sentenced to 16 months in prison for money laundering

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A 39 year old software engineer was arrested for his role in an illegal exchange of bitcoin that would have been used to launder funds for a global hacking network responsible for large scale attacks. The man, Yuri Lebedev, came to the United States from Ukraine in search of the American dream, but was recently sentenced to 16 months in prison.

Through the exchange, Coin.mx, Yuri Lebedev cheated the banks in dealing with bitcoin-related transactions by masking them as if it was about restaurant delivery costs and online shopping. In March, a Manhattan jury, after a month of trial, found Lebedev, as well as a co-conspirator, Trevon Gross, 52, guilty of conspiracy and fraud.

US District Judge Alison J. Nathan pointed out that Lebedev abused his "awesome technological skills" to make financial institutions that he trapped "involuntary participants" in the money laundering program. money in which he was involved.

According to some sources, Coin.mx was an exchange set up for a group of hackers that targeted financial and publishing companies, including JP Morgan and Dow Jones, in 2014. It did a lot of bitcoin transactions for the victims of ransomware, who were often forced to pay a ransom in the cryptocurrency to unlock their computers.

Recently, while standing up before his sentence, Lebedev said that he regretted getting involved with Coin.mx in the first place, and that all he wanted to do was " to create cutting-edge technology that would make me exceptional. " He added that he was carried away, and this is happening now "there are now shortcuts."

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Notably, for not being neither a leader nor a brain in the operation, Lebedev received "much less time" than the 10-year maximum recommended by the United States sentencing guidelines . did what he was told to do. "

Lebedev's role in Coin.mx was to set up servers that the exchange used to process transactions, an item that required constant attention so that banks would not notice what the company was doing. exchange was actually doing. Documents of the United States Court read:

"One of those critical issues dealt with by Lebedev was the use of separate servers to trick banks and payment processors into believing that the coin.mx bit.moin transactions were actually Memories of Collectables Club and MyXtremeDelivery Food Transactions "

Coinmx operations manager Anthony Murgio was sentenced to 72 months in prison. He revealed that he was running Coin.mx for Gery Shalon, an Israeli who pleaded guilty after being extradited from Israel last June. Prosecutors also said Shalon was overseeing a JP Morgan hacking scheme that stole information from more than 100 million people.

Lebedev, according to reports, was born in Russia and grew up in Ukraine. At the age of 8, he was abandoned by his alcoholic father and was raised by his mother, who was a scientist. At the age of 16, he was selected to move to the US state of Georgia after winning awards in mathematics, physics and biology. In the United States, he earned a double degree in physics and computer science, and obtained graduate degrees.

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The defense documents even show that at the time his math teacher said that the United States "received a genius from Ukraine". His lawyer, Eric Creizman, pointed out that he was only 16 when he moved to America. ]

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"Yuri, with the support of his mother, made the brave decision to move to the United States – without having a single parent or acquaintance in America – to improve his life."

Creizman, according to the Japan Times, strove to describe him as a loving husband and father of three children, who was simply caught in something that was too big for him. He even went so far as to qualify his client as "improbable criminal defendant".

However, prosecutors pointed out that Lebedev's life was seeking a harsher punishment, arguing that he was not like the criminals who were motivated to break the law for needing to go to court. money, for example. United States Attorney Won S. Shin said:

"He could basically have gone out the script for his life. [People in these situations] are even more guilty."

Prosecutors also pointed out that he had tried to impede the case by deleting files from a computer. The family and friends of Levedev, according to reports, sent the courts describing them as a hard working man devoted to his children.

Image from Shutterstock.

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