The US citizen allegedly involved in the massive Wall Street hack has been found in a Russian prison for illegal immigrants. Maryland native Joshua Aaron was arrested in Russia after failing to show his passport to authorities during a raid and for breaking the terms of his three-year visa, Bloomberg reports.
Together with two Israelis, he had been accused of cyber-theft of the data of more than 100 million clients of high-profile companies on Wall Street, including JP Morgan Chase & Co, which they used for fraudulent transactions.
“As alleged, the defendants manipulated trading in US securities from overseas, using fake identities to funnel millions of dollars in unlawful proceeds through a web of international shell companies,” said Manhattan US Attorney, Preet Bharara. “Using false and misleading spam emails sent to millions of people, these defendants allegedly directed their pump-and-dump scheme from their computers halfway around the world.”
Last summer, Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein were arrested in Israel and extradited to the US. Aaron is negotiating his return to the US. Fidelity Investments Ltd., E*Trade Financial Corp., Scottrade Financial Services Inc. and Dow Jones & Co., a unit of News Corp., were among the other companies hacked
The multi-million dollar hack involved transactions for fake pharmaceuticals and fake anti-virus software, and forged passports, among others. Investigators say they laundered bitcoin through 75 companies around the world, while the stock manipulation scheme brought them hundreds of millions of dollars in profit.
Aaron, Shalon and Orenstein are believed to have masterminded the alleged scheme. When questioned by Russian prosecutors, Aaron denied the accusations and claimed he knew nothing about the arrest warrant on his name.
Authorities are also looking for the hacker involved in the scheme, believed to be Russian or at least located in Russia, due to Aaron’s repeated trips to the area.