A Russian hacker at the center of an alleged scheme to steal financial data on more than 80 million JP Morgan Chase & Co. clients will plead guilty later this month, according to a U.S. court filing.
Andrei Tyurin, who was extradited last year from the Republic of Georgia, is accused of performing key tasks that netted hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit proceeds from the hack of JPMorgan and other companies. Tyurin has struck a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in New York to resolve the charges and is set to appear for a plea hearing next week.
Since he was first brought before a New York judge, hearings in Tyurin’s case have been repeatedly canceled, and previous court filings have said prosecutors and defense lawyers were engaged in plea negotiations. In a filing late Friday, prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office sought to consolidate Tyurin’s case in New York with one filed in Atlanta, in which he and others were accused of hacking online brokerage E*Trade.
At the time of the hacks, the breach was so vast that U.S. authorities suspected it was the work of a state-sponsored cyberattack, with potential ties to Russia’s intelligence agencies. But they ultimately concluded it was the work of a broad criminal enterprise, with the purloined funds fueling other schemes including stock manipulation, online gambling and money laundering.
Tyurin’s lawyer, Florian Miedel, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined comment.
Tyurin and other co-defendants were charged in 2015. Tyurin remained at large for years even as his confederates were apprehended, until his capture in Georgia.
The ringleader of the operation, Gery Shalon, was arrested in Tel Aviv in 2015 and extradited to the U.S. His prosecution hasn’t been resolved, and people familiar with the case have said he has been cooperating with U.S. authorities. He and other co-defendants agreed to a series of deals with authorities to repatriate stolen funds stashed in bank accounts in Switzerland, Georgia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Latvia.
What information Shalon and Tyurin have that could be of value to U.S. authorities remains unclear, but the men were at the center of a network that could potentially illuminate links between Russia’s cyber criminals, spy agencies and international money laundering networks.