US charges two Russians for stealing $16.8m via cryptocurrency phishing sites

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The US Department of Justice has filed charges today against two Russian nationals for orchestrating a multi-year phishing operation against the users of three cryptocurrency exchanges.

The two suspects stand accused of creating website clones for the Poloniex, Binance, and Gemini cryptocurrency exchanges, luring users on these fake sites, and collecting their account credentials. These phishing operations began around June 2017.

US officials said the Russian duo — made up of Danil Potekhin (aka cronuswar) and Dmitrii Karasavidi; residents of Voronezh and Moscow, respectively — used the stolen credentials to access victim accounts and steal their Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) crypto-assets.

In total, US officials estimated the victims in the hundreds. Court documents cite 313 defrauded Poloniex users, 142 Binance victims, and 42 users at Gemini.

Losses were estimated at $16,876,000.

According to a superseding indictment unsealed today, Potenkhin and Karasavidi transferred the stolen funds into

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