Alleged Cyber Gang Accused of Stealing $45 Million from Banks

Mike O'Brien

An alleged cyber theft ring has been accused of stealing $45 million from banks and other financial institutions around the world.

Federal prosecutors unsealed charges on Thursday. U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, of the Eastern District of New York, said eight people have been charged with withdrawing $2.8 million from New York banks.

Related: Pentagon Points the Finger at China's Government Over Cyber Attacks

The withdrawals are said to have occurred in a matter of hours on two occasions, in December and February.

Ms. Lynch said the eight people allegedly made nearly 3,800 separate transactions to take out the $2.8 million, CNN Money reports.

She added that the accused co-conspirators were making withdrawals at banks around the world at the same time they were targeting the New York banks.

Prosecutors say the gang used prepaid MasterCard debit cards issued by National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC in the United Arab Emirates and the Bank of Muscat, located in Oman.

Law enforcement authorities in 16 foreign countries -- including Canada, Germany, Japan and Romania – took part in the investigation.

Ms. Lynch said: "The defendants and their co-conspirators participated in a massive 21st-century bank heist that reached across the Internet and stretched around the globe. In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and the Internet."

The arrests were made over a six-week period that began on March 27. One member of the alleged ring was murdered in the Dominican Republic on April 27, she added.

Cyber crime will be discussed at IDGA's Cyber Security and Network Defense summit next month. For full details, go to