Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ercan “Segate” Findikoglu - Update

In June an indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court charging Ercan Findikoglu, a Turkish citizen also known as “Segate,” with organizing three worldwide cyberattacks that inflicted $55 million in losses on the global financial system in a matter of hours.

Findikoglu organized the so-called “ATM cashouts” by hacking into networks of several credit and debit card payment processors. With each processor, the intruders were able to simultaneously lift the daily withdrawal limits on numerous prepaid accounts and dramatically increase the account balances on those cards to allow ATM withdrawals far in excess of the legitimate card balances.
Findikoglu managed a trusted group of co-conspirators who disseminated the stolen debit card information to leaders of “cashing crews” around the world; they, in turn, used the stolen information to conduct tens of thousands of fraudulent ATM withdrawals.

Alleged thieves Elvis Rafael Rodriguez and Emir Yasser Yeje snapped a picture of themselves with a pile of about $40,000 in cash.
The eight residents of Yonkers, N.Y. charged by federal authorities in the $45 million global bank heist were foot soldiers in the scheme, known as a "cashing crew."

They hit ATMs all over New York City and stole $2.8 million in two separate attacks.
In one operation on February 27 and 28, 2011, cashing crews withdrew $10 million through 15,000 fraudulent ATM withdrawals in at least 18 countries. In a second operation on December 22, 2012, cashing crews withdrew $5 million through more than 4,500 ATM in 20 countries. In a third operation on February 19 and 20, 2013, cashing cells in 24 countries executed 36,000 transactions and withdrew $40 million from ATMs. During this third operation, in New York City alone, cashing crews withdrew $2.4 million in nearly 3,000 ATM withdrawals over the course of less than 11 hours.

The ring used prepaid MasterCard debit cards that were issued by the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC, located in the United Arab Emirates, and the Bank of Muscat, located in Oman.
The US Secret Service arrested Findikoglu in Frankfurt in cooperation with German authorities. Germany refused to extradite to the U.S. out of concern that he would receive a disproportionate sentence for his crimes. Where the accused’s crimes warranted a maximum punishment of 15 years imprisonment under German law, it commanded a 247-year sentence in the U.S.

In June, 2015 Germany did extradite Findikoglu to the United States. It was reported that a plea deal is likely. The case is U.S. v. Findikoglu, 13-cr-440, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).