Thomson ReutersJP Morgan Chase & Co sign outside headquarters in New YorkFour arrests made on Tuesday in two separate cases-one involving penny stocks and the other an underground Bitcoin exchange-might tie back to last year's massive cyberattack against JPMorgan Chase, Bloomberg News reports.
Two people were arrested in Israel and the other two were arrested in Florida. One person is still at large.
The JPMorgan cyberattack is not mentioned in any of the indictments.
striking about these two separate cases is that they can be connected
by a friendship that goes back a decade to Florida State University,
Bloomberg News pointed out.
Anthony Murgio, 31, was arrested in
Florida and charged with running an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange. He was
also charged with one count of money laundering.
Joshua S. Aaron,
a 31-year-old American citizen who resides in Tel Aviv and Moscow,
faces multiple charges related to an alleged penny stock scheme. Aaron
is the one who remains at large.
On what appears to be Murgio's
personal website, he mentions his friend Aaron, who he said "showed me
the ropes to online marketing."
Murgio and Aaron were both
mentioned in an FBI memo from October 2014 regarding the JPMorgan hack,
the Bloomberg report said. Bloomberg News noted that it was asked not to
report about the memo earlier this year because it might impact the
The JPMorgan breach
Last year, JPMorgan said
that 76 million households and 7 million small businesses may have had
their data compromised in a cyberattack. At the time, the bank said that
that the hackers had access to customer names, addresses, phone
numbers, and email addresses.
No customer money was lost. The
bank also said there was no indication that account numbers, passwords,
user IDs, dates of birth or Social Security numbers were compromised.
That attack was so massive though that it was even believed that the Russian government may have been behind it.
Millions of penny stock emails
DOJThese are the charges the trio faces.The US Attorney's Office in New
York charged Gery Shalon, Joshua Samuel Aaron, and Zvi Orenstein for
their roles in an alleged multi-million dollar penny stock pump-and-dump
that goes back to 2011.
Shalon, 31, and Orenstein, 41, were arrested in Israel by the Israel Police.
hasn't been arrested. Bloomberg pointed out that his wife shared photos
on Instagram of them in St. Petersburg, Russia just a couple of days
ago. We've also sent an email to Aaron seeking comment.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has also filed civil charges against the trio.
who used the aliases "Phillipe Mousset" and "Christopher Engeham," and
Aaron, who went by "Mike Shields," allegedly wrote emails that Shalon
allegedly disseminated through "their possession of vast email lists,"
the SEC said. Orenstein, who went by "Aviv Stein" and"John Avery", is
accused of handling brokerage accounts using the aliases.
said that they sent spam emails to millions of people daily that
contained "materially false" and "fraudulent" statements about the
microcap companies based in Florida, Virginia, South Carolina, and
California. They also allegedly used about 20 promotional sites to tout
"These promotional campaigns frequently urged
people to buy shares of the promoted issuers without properly disclosing
that the promoters themselves owned shares of these issuers and,
contrary to their exhortations to readers of their emails to buy shares,
intended to sell those shares immediately," the SEC alleged in its
The Florida arrests
The US Attorney's
Office in New York also arrested and charged Florida residents Anthony
Murgio, 31, and Yuri Lebedev, 37, for allegedly running an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange that "exchanged at least $1.8 million for Bitcoins on behalf of tens of thousands of customers."
and Lebedev are accused of "knowingly operated Coin.mx, a Bitcoin
exchange service, in violation of federal anti-money laundering (�AML�)
laws and regulations," the US Attorney's Office in New York said.
and his co-conspirators are also accused of having "knowingly exchanged
cash for Bitcoins for victims of 'ransomware' attacks, that is,
cyberattacks in which criminals (here, distributors of the ransomware
known as 'Cryptowall') electronically block access to a victim�s
computer system until a sum of 'ransom' money, typically in Bitcoins, is
paid to them."
The US Attorney's Office alleged that the pair
hid the illegal exchange under the guise that they were operating a
business called the "Collectables Club," a members-only group for people
to buy and sell collectibles like sports memorabilia.
show a number of fictitious businesses registered to Murgio, including
the "Collectables Club." The records also show that in 2013 he was hit
with felony charges for allegedly not paying $110,000 in sales taxes for
a a restaurant he owned.
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