US-Canadian gets 11 years for laundering money for a North Korean hacking group

A dual US-Canadian national has been sentenced to 140 months in prison for laundering tens of millions of dollars, including funds stolen from a bank by a North Korean hacking group. Ghaleb Alaumary from Mississauga, Ontario pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to the US Department of Justice, Alaumary used spoofed emails to trick a university in Canada in the first case. The emails, which looked like they were from a construction company working on a major building project for the university, asked for payment amounting to US$9.4 million. 

After the university wired the money to accounts controlled by Alaumary and his co-conspirators, he worked with various people across the US and elsewhere to launder the funds through various financial institutions. He also had people impersonating wealthy bankers go to Texas to get personally identifiable information from victims and then use that to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from their accounts. 

The second case is wider in scope and involves receiving funds from cyber-heists and fraud schemes. Those funds include money from a North Korean-perpetrated cyber-heist on a Maltese bank in 2019. He also received funds stolen from banks in India and Pakistan, companies in the United States and the UK, individuals in the US and a professional soccer club in the UK. Alaumary laundered the funds he received via cash withdrawals, wire transfers and cryptocurrency purchases.

Acting US Attorney David H. Estes for the Southern District of Georgia said in a statement:

“This defendant served as an integral conduit in a network of cybercriminals who siphoned tens of millions of dollars from multiple entities and institutions across the globe. He laundered money for a rogue nation and some of the world’s worst cybercriminals, and he managed a team of co-conspirators who helped to line the pockets and digital wallets of thieves.”

In addition to being sentenced for more than 11 years in prison, Alaumary was also ordered to pay $30 million in restitution to victims.

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