September 9, 2021

Canadian resident gets 11 years in prison for money laundering conspiracy

On September 8, 2021, Canadian resident Ghaleb Alaumary, a dual citizen of the US and Canada, was sentenced in the US District Court for the Southern District of Georgia to more than 11 years in federal prison for participating in various schemes to launder tens of millions of dollars in proceeds from bank fraud and stolen wires, including funds from the 2019 theft of an online bank by North Korean cyber criminals.  After pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, Alaumary will also pay more than $30 million in restitution to victims and serve 3 years of supervised release as part of his sentence.

According to court documents, Alaumary’s first count of money laundering conspiracy was in connection with a case filed in the Southern District of Georgia involving a 2017 scheme to defraud a university in Canada by sending “spoofed” emails that appeared to be from a construction company requesting payment for a large building project.  He and his co-conspirators laundered the $11.8 million CAD (approximately $9.4 million) from the university through various financial institutions by individuals in the US and elsewhere. Weeks later, Alaumary allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims’ bank accounts in Texas by having his co-conspirator impersonate wealthy bank customers whose stolen personal identifiable information was then used to access their accounts.

Alaumary’s second count of money laundering conspiracy relates to a case that was transferred from the Central District of California to the Southern District of Georgia that involved a group of individuals that were recruited by Alaumary to hack into ATMs, the proceeds of which were deposited into bank accounts that contained the proceeds of various cyber-heists and fraud schemes, including funds from the 2019 North Korean cyber-heist of a Maltese bank.  Once the stolen funds were in the accounts that Alaumary controlled, he laundered the funds through wire transfers, cash withdrawals and cryptocurrency purchases.  Alaumary used this scheme between 2018 and 2019 to steal funds from multiple companies and banking institutions around the world including companies and individuals located in the US.

Department of Justice Press Release | Information (March 2020) | Information (December 2020)