CLAIM: Florida men linked to JP Morgan hack were also running an illegal Bitcoin exchange

In 2014, hackers gained access to customer information on tens of millions of JP Morgan account holders.

Yesterday, authorities in Israel and the U.S. arrested four individuals who may have been connected to the incident.

Two of them allegedly ran an illicit Bitcoin exchange.

USA Today’s Kevin Johnson and Kaja Whitehouse report that Florida residents Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev, along with two other individuals arrested in Israel, “initially surfaced in the government’s investigation of last year’s bank breach.”

In a criminal complaint released yesterday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Manhattan says Murgio and Lebedev ran a site called Coin.mx that violated anti-money-laundering laws by failing to properly check the backgrounds of its customers.

The pair are also accused of facilitating Bitcoin ransomware attacks that involved holding a victim’s computer or digital device hostage until a ransom in Bitcoin was paid.

Coin.mx is no longer online, but its search result still pops up on Google:

coin.mxGoogle

The complaint says the site exchanged at least $1.8 million for Bitcoins on behalf of tens of thousands of customers to bank accounts in Cyprus, Hong Kong, and Eastern Europe, among other places, while receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from bank accounts in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands.

The pair operated another, still-active site called Collectables Club P.M.A. that the complaint says was used as a front company to allow the Bitcoin exchange to interact with major financial institutions, the complaint alleges. The site advertises itself as an antiques and sports memorabilia exchange site.

collectablesCollectables Club PMA

Concerns in the cryptocurrency about both sites appear to have been raised as early as 2013, when a thread on PeerCoinTalk.org suggested users be wary of interacting with them.

Murgio was also previously accused of tax theft.

The two other individuals thought to be connected to the JP Morgan hack were arrested in Israel on illicit stock trading charges.

Read the full USA Today report here »

Read the full criminal complaint here »

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