Guilty Plea From Liberty Reserve IT Manager

     (CN) – The former information technology manager at Liberty Reserve, dubbed by prosecutors as “the bank of choice for the criminal underworld,” pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in running the online banking company.
     Maxim Chukharev, 28, of San José, Costa Rica, made his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote in the federal court in Manhattan for conspiring to run an unlicensed “money transmitting business.”
     According to court proceedings, the online bank was founded in 2006 in Costa Rica as the Internet’s “largest payment processor and money transfer system.”
     But prosecutors say it was really created to cater to criminals seeking to make anonymous transactions and launder money from illegal activities like credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography and narcotics trafficking.
     It “emerged as one of the principal money transfer agents used by cybercriminals around the world” to transact money from criminal activities, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.
     It was shut down by the U.S. federal government in May 2013, but not before it moved more than $6 billion through 55 million transactions for 200,000 users in the United States, prosecutors said.
     Chukharev, along with founder Arthur Budoysky and co-defendant Mark Marmilev, were among seven people charged in the U.S. government’s indictment, which was unsealed in May 2013.
     Marimilev, Vladimir Kats and Azzeddine el Amine have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the bank’s operations.
     They await sentencing.
     Marmilev admitted to conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting, but did not plead guilty to conspiring to launder money and operating an unlicensed business. He faces up to five years, with an additional three years of supervised released.
     Chukharev is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 30, 2015.

%d bloggers like this: