On February 11, 2021, the Department of Justice announced a plea agreement that was reached with Aleksandr Musienko from Odessa, Ukraine, in which Musienko pleaded guilty to wire fraud for his participation in an international money laundering scheme, involving funds stolen by Eastern European cybercriminals from online bank accounts belonging to US businesses. Under the settlement, Musienko was sentenced to 87 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $98,000 in restitution.
While the plea agreement and other court documents are sealed, the DOJ reports that Musienko partnered with the Eastern European hackers from 2009 to 2012, to obtain over $3 million from US bank account holders by stealing information from victims located in the US, and using that information to deceive the victims’ banks into processing large withdrawals from their bank accounts. Museinko then laundered the stolen funds using a network of “money mules” that he recruited and supervised, who ultimately transmitted the funds overseas using American corporate and individual bank accounts. Musienko allegedly used an alias to recruit American “mules” who believed that they were hired to work as his financial assistants to transfer the funds as part of a legitimate business.
Musienko was arrested in South Korea in 2018 and extradited to the US in 2019, after sealed charges were filed against him in the Western District of North Carolina in 2016. Once in US custody, the FBI searched his laptop and found approximately 120,000 payment card numbers along with identifying information belonging to persons other than Musienko.