Mississauga man pleads guilty to laundering money in alleged North Korean cyberhack

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WASHINGTON — A man from Mississauga, Ont., has pleaded guilty in connection with a US$1.3-billion extortion plot allegedly staged by hackers based in North Korea.

Ghaleb Alaumary was charged with laundering money on behalf of what the U.S. Department of Justice calls a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy.

Prosecutors say Alaumary used co-conspirators in Canada and the U.S. to help launder the proceeds from "cash-out" schemes, which involve hacking ATMs to enable fraudulent withdrawals.

He also helped with cyber-enabled bank robberies as well as "business email compromise" scams, where criminals use phishing emails to intercept legitimate fund transfers.

Alaumary pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

He is also currently facing charges in Georgia related to his alleged involvement in a separate business email compromise scheme.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press