Four Arrested in Pump-and-Dump Fraud Linked to JPMorgan Hack

Four people — two in Florida and two in Israel — have been arrested for their involvement in a complex securities fraud scheme that authorities have tied to the massive computer hacks at JPMorgan Chase and several other financial institutions, according to a Bloomberg report.

The FBI announced the filing of an indictment in Manhattan federal court against Gery Shalon, Joshua Samuel Aaron and Ziv Orenstein for orchestrating a multi-million dollar stock manipulation scheme. Shalon and Orenstein were arrested in Israel; Aaron, a U.S. citizen who lives in Moscow and Tel Aviv, remains at large.

In a separate case, authorities arrested Anthony Murgio, 31, of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Yuri Lebedev of Jacksonville for allegedly operating an unlicensed bitcoin exchange called that allowed computer hackers to launder the proceeds from their crimes.

The investigation into the 2013 JPMorgan computer hack found that cybercriminals broke into the bank’s database to steal customer emails. Fidelity and E*Trade were also hacked for customer data. It is believed that these emails were used by Aaron and his Israeli associates for spamming campaigns that aimed to inflate the value of certain penny stocks owned by the accused, who then cashed out — a classic “pump-and-dump” scheme.

Aaron and Murgio were friends at Florida State University and also traveled to Russia together. Authorities linked Aaron to the hacks through his social media accounts that showed him in Russia around the time of the attacks on JPMorgan and Fidelity. JPMorgan had initially stated that the Russian government was behind the massive hack on its accounts in 2013.

Shalon, Aaron and Orenstein have been charged with multiple counts of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Shalon and Aaron are also charged with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Maximum sentences range from two to 20 years for each charge.

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