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Ghaleb Alaumary, a 36-year-old dual U.S and Canadian citizen, worked for cyber criminals including the three North Koreans who heisted as much 1.3 billion dollars in a cybercrime spree believed to be executed on behalf of North Korean intelligence.Among the victims of the spree was a major Maltese bank, the Bank of Valletta, which was robbed of $14 million in 2019. To turn that cash into usable currency, the hackers turned to Alaumary.
“Alaumary recruited and organized individuals to withdraw stolen cash from ATMs; he provided bank accounts that received funds from bank cyber-heists and fraud schemes; and, once the ill-gotten funds were in accounts he controlled, Alaumary further laundered the funds through wire transfers, cash withdrawals, and by exchanging the funds for cryptocurrency,” the DOJ explained.
The North Korean spree employed other high-profile money launderers, including the Nigerian social media influencer Ramon “Hushpuppi” Abbas.
Before working with the North Koreans, Alaumary was implicated as an accomplice in the theft of $9.4 million from Canada’s McEwan University.
According to the DOJ, Alaumary worked with others to convince the university that they represented a construction company who had been involved in a major building project at the school, ultimately defrauding the school into wiring the team millions.
In addition to the jail time, Alaumary has also been ordered to pay more than $30 million to his victims in restitution.
“Other victims of Alaumary’s crimes included banks headquartered in India, Pakistan and Malta, as well as companies in the United States and U.K., individuals in the United States and a professional soccer club in the U.K.,” the DOJ said.