The US opened up its arms to Joshua Aaron, a US fugitive who allegedly carried out the largest ever cyber attack on Wall Street, following an eighteen-month getaway to Russia. Mr. Aaron had been evading the US government for his suspected role in the hack of JPMorgan.
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Now back in the US to face trial, Mr. Aaron was promptly arrested at JFK airport, which immediately led to a ‘not guilty’ plea of sixteen criminal charges. Aaron has been accused, along with two other Israeli co-defendants, of securities fraud between 2007 and 2015.
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Securities Fraud on ‘Cyber Steroids’
During this period, the three individuals allegedly stole data from more than 100 million customer accounts across a number of financial institutions including JPMorgan, E*TRADE, Fidelity Investments, and Scottrade. Subsequently, they have been accused of utilizing this sensitive information to engage in fraudulent share deals that succeeded in raising millions of dollars.
Interestingly, Mr. Aaron voluntarily returned to the US, which came at an interesting period of Russian and US relations, namely with regard to cyber crime. Just one month ago, accusations of Russian intervention in the US election were a hot topic issue facing Americans before they headed to the polls.
Since then US intelligence services have pointed to the plausibility of Russian involvement to varying degrees, having previously been suspected of influencing the US election. For his part, President elect Donald Trump has shot down these accusations, though has agreed to tackle ‘the cyber’ during his administration.