Russian in Massive JPMorgan Data Hack Sentenced to 12 Years

A Russian hacker who carried out one of the largest cyberattacks against a U.S. bank was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Andrei Tyurin, who pleaded guilty in 2019 to stealing data on clients of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other companies, was the hired hacker in a scheme that netted hundreds of millions of dollars and affected almost 140 million clients, prosecutors said.

“I was involved in illegal activity despite the upbringing I received by my parents,” Tyurin, 37, said through a Russian interpreter during a videoconference Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. “I am aware that I caused a lot of harm to a lot of people and I sincerely apologize for my actions.”

Tyurin had faced about 15 to 20 years behind bars. U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said she had reduced his sentence because of the “unusually harsh” conditions he faced in detention in Tbilisi, Georgia, before he was extradited to the U.S., where he subsequently contracted the coronavirus while in custody. He will get credit for the time he has already served.

Pump and Dump

Prosecutors said Tyurin worked with an Israeli citizen, Gery Shalon, for seven years. He stole customer information from 12 financial services and information companies, including Fidelity Investments, E-Trade Financial and Dow Jones & Co., according to the U.S. His co-conspirators used the information to ply customers with spam emails promoting stocks in hopes of profiting from upswings.

The government asked the judge to impose the longer prison term to reflect the breadth of the crimes and send a deterrent message to would-be foreign hackers. It said Tyurin was paid $19 million for his work, plotting with Shalon to destroy evidence that might lead to their apprehension. As part of his sentence, he must forfeit the $19 million and repay at least $20 million that companies said they lost.

“Shalon’s criminal empire may be large, but none of that could have been anywhere close to as professional or successful if Tyurin hadn’t entered his life,” prosecutor Eun Young Choi said.

Tyurin’s lawyers had asked the judge to impose a sentence below the guidelines, saying prosecutors had inflated his role in the criminal operation. They acknowledged that he was “integral” to the scheme, and that his hacking gave him illegal access to computer systems that helped him maximize profits, but said he was more of a hired gun than an architect of the enterprise.

“I regret what I’ve done, but unfortunately I cannot turn back time,” Tyurin told Swain.

Shalon’s top lieutenant, accountant Ziv Orenstein, pleaded guilty in 2016 and spent 13 months in custody. He was spared further prison time in October after helping prosecutors unravel the criminal enterprise.

Shalon and Orenstein were arrested in Israel in 2015 and extradited to the U.S. While Shalon’s case hasn’t been resolved, people familiar with it have said Shalon is cooperating with authorities.

The case is U.S. v. Shalon, 15-cr-00333, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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