Bitcoin Exchange Owner Extradited Following Cybercrime Indictment
Two individuals tied to the now-defunct US bitcoin exchange Coin.mx have been extradited to the US from Israel, prosecutors announced today.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced today that Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein have been extradited after being arrested last year. Both appeared in Manhattan court today and have been indicted on securities fraud and computer hacking charges. The two plead not guilty, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Shalon is alleged to be the owner of Coin.mx, an exchange based in Florida that has been tied to a string of cyberattacks on a number of companies including Wall Street bank JPMorgan, which resulted in the theft of personal data from tens of millions of client accounts. Reports from last year suggest that the alleged operation spanned the globe, targeting a range of major businesses.
The two were arrested in July of last year, prosecutors said, a move that came as charges were filed against alleged co-conspirators Anthony Murgio and Yuri Lebedev, who were accused of running an unlawful money transmission business. Murgio later plead not guilty.
US prosecutors have said that Coin.mx was used as a conduit for funds tied to the alleged cybercrime network.
US attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement:
"For the alleged hacks into numerous U.S. companies, including the largest theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution in history, in furtherance of their securities fraud, Sharon and Orenstein will now face prosecution in a U.S. court."
US prosecutors have said that Coin.mx skirted money services rules by mis-marking credit card purchases for bitcoin and effectively taking control of a New Jersey credit union to route international transactions. A pastor and former executive of the credit union was later charged for taking bribes in exchange for facilitating that arrangement.