- Two Russian cryptocurrency fraudsters have been charged with stealing $16.5 million worth of funds from American crypto exchange customers
- The pair used phishing and spoofing tactics to trap exchange users and steal their login and personal information
- Some of the money has been retrieved, and the pair face decades behind bars
Two Russian cryptocurrency fraudsters have been charged with defrauding three crypto exchanges and their customers to the tune of $16.8 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced the charges Wednesday, stating that Danil Potekhin and Dmitrii Karasavidi used phishing and spoofing tactics to trap exchange users and steal their login and personal information. If found guilty, the maximum sentence for their crimes could see Potekhin and Karasavidi serve over 50 years behind bars.
Fake Websites Used to Log Data
Potekhin is alleged to have created over a dozen fake web domains which he used to entrap users on an unnamed exchange. He managed to get over 150 customers to input their identification and passwords on the fake domains, information he used to then log in and steal their cryptocurrency, along with Karasavidi.
The pair are also charged with using the victims’ personal details to create further fictitious accounts which they then used to withdraw even larger sums of cryptocurrencies without authorization.
$6 Million in Fiat and Cryptocurrency Retrieved
The pair also engaged in a number of sophisticated market manipulation tricks using their fraudulent accounts dating back to 2017 which allowed them to earn $16.8 million before authorities were able to track some of the illegal funds to Karasavidi’s cryptocurrency accounts.
$6 million in US dollars and several million dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency has been retrieved and can be returned to victims, while Potekhin and Karasavidi face five counts of financial crimes ranging from wire fraud to market manipulation.