A complex investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit has uncovered a cyber fraud which resulted in $50,000 being laundered from a US company.
This investigation was carried out by ERSOU’s Regional Cyber Crime Unit, working with national and international partners to combat banking malware and 29-year-old Latvian national, Jurijs Kitovs, of Clarence Road, Peterborough, later pleaded guilty to the possession of a false identity document, fraud by false representation and four money laundering offences.
In June last year, $50,000 US dollars had been stolen from a US company by cyber criminals, utilising a type of malware which took control of the victims’ computers.
The stolen funds were transferred into a Metro Bank account in the UK controlled by Kitovs, which he opened using false Polish identity documents. Within hours of the stolen funds arriving in the UK, a series of cash withdrawals were made at various foreign exchange bureaus in Peterborough.
Kitovs was arrested in February and found to be in possession of false identity documents and bank accounts opened solely for the purpose of receiving the proceeds of crime.
At Peterborough Crown Court, Kitovs was handed 220 hours’ community service and a two-year suspended jail term. The court took into consideration Kitovs’ previous convictions in Latvia for burglary and the use of stolen bank cards in 2010.
Approximately £20,000 remains outstanding a confiscation order is now being considered for Kitovs under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
After today’s hearing Detective Inspector Martin Peters, head of the Regional Cyber Crime Unit, said: “We will continue to work with our partners at local, regional, national and international level against the increasing cyber-crime threat.
This type of crime does not conform to county or even country borders and has many complexities, so the international aspect of this criminality requires a joined-up approach in order to tackle cyber-crime.
“This case highlights the dangers of cyber crime, and I would ask people to be vigilant and proactive regarding their on-line security at both personal and business level to protect themselves.”