Prison for BEC Scheme Money Launderer

An Ontario resident, who admitted laundering tens of millions of dollars stolen by cyber-criminals in various wire and bank fraud schemes, is to spend the next 140 months in a United States federal prison.

Dual Canadian and United States citizen Ghaleb Alaumary, formerly of Mississauga, was sentenced yesterday after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

He was further ordered to pay $30m in restitution to his victims and to serve three years of supervised release after completing his custodial sentence.

The 37-year-old was found to have acted as a money launderer in multiple criminal schemes, including business email compromise (BEC) scams and cyber-enabled bank heists perpetrated by North Korean hackers.

The Department of Justice said in a statement: “With respect to the North Korean co-conspirators’ activities, Alaumary organized crews of co-conspirators in the United States and Canada to launder millions of dollars obtained through ATM cash-out operations, including from BankIslami and a bank in India in 2018.”

Alaumary also conspired with others, including Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, also known as Ray Hushpuppi, to launder funds stolen from a Maltese bank by North Korean cyber-criminals in February 2019.

In one of the money-laundering cases, Alaumary recruited and organized individuals to withdraw stolen cash from ATMs. He also provided the bank accounts into which the funds from cyber bank heists and fraud schemes were deposited. 

Alaumary then further laundered the stolen money through wire transfers, cash withdrawals, and by exchanging the funds for crypto-currency.

In the second case, Alaumary conspired with others in 2017 to impersonate a construction company and request payment from a university in Canada for a major building project. 

“The university, believing it was paying the construction company, wired 11.8 million Canadian dollars (approximately 9.4 million U.S. dollars) to a bank account controlled by Alaumary and his co-conspirators,” said the Department of Justice. 

Acting US Attorney David Estes said Alaumary “laundered money for a rogue nation and some of the world’s worst cyber-criminals, and he managed a team of co-conspirators who helped to line the pockets and digital wallets of thieves.”

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