Cyprus extradites criminals to the U.S. for Bitcoin theft

on Jul 20, 2020
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
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  • The U.S. Department of Justice extradited two criminals from Cyprus for committing crimes on U.S. soil.
  • Among both perpetrators, Ghassan Diab has connections with the Hezbollah cartel.
  • The other one stole $56,850 worth of bitcoins by hacking into the network.

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Joshua Polloso Epifaniou and Ghassan Diab were extradited from Cyprus. The Department of Justice accuses both perpetrators of committing many felonies.

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Epifaniou is wanted in Georgia and Arizona. After the U.S. officials extradited him from the republic of Cyprus he yesterday arrived in New York.

Ghassan Diab, a 37, years old, Lebanese national is wanted in Florida for money laundering and drug trafficking. The felon laundered money through black market platform peso exchange.

“These successful extraditions demonstrate the commitment of the Department of Justice to support local, state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and our strong working relationship with dedicated foreign partners who assist in apprehending foreign fugitives wherever they may be hiding, thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners in Cyprus, Ghassan Diab and Joshua Polloso Epifaniou will now be held accountable in the United States for their alleged crimes.” Said the Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of DOJ’s criminal division.

The Bitcoin hack and computer fraud

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The indictment filed against Epifaniou states that he alongside other coconspirators stole the personal data from users at the targeted website. With the intention of extorting the websites to pay the ransom money, Epifaniou threatened the victim websites of disclosing the sensitive data of users.

“Epifaniou allegedly used proxy servers located in foreign countries to log into online email accounts and send messages to the victim websites threatening to leak the sensitive data unless a ransom was paid. He is alleged to have defrauded the entities of $56,850 in bitcoin, and two victims incurred losses of over $530,000 from remediation costs associated with the incident.” the report further states.

Final thoughts

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Ghassan Diab was taken to the state of Florida after arriving in Miami yesterday. The convict committed felonies under Florida law. The police accuse the suspect of laundering money over $100,000, as well as conspiracy to launder $100,000. In fact, he pleads guilty for unlicensed transmission of currency.

And for Epifaniou, his arraignment will be held today in the Northern District of Georgia before the U.S. judge Alan J. Baverman.

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