- The Washington Times - Friday, June 10, 2016

Two Israeli men pleaded not guilty in a New York courthouse Thursday to a slew of charges involving what authorities described as a “sprawling cybercriminal enterprise” that made millions of dollars by compromising the computers of financial giants including JPMorgan Chase.

Gery Shalon, 32, and Ziv Orenstein, 41, were arraigned in federal court after being extradited to the United States earlier this week from Israel.

Along with co-defendant Joshua Samuel Aaron, Mr. Shalon and Mr. Orenstein are accused of operating an international scheme centered around cyberattacks waged against companies including JPMorgan Chase, Scottrade Inc. and Dow Jones & Co, among others.

Prosecutors for the U.S. government previously described the 2014 hacking of JPMorgan Chase as “the largest theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution in history,” and claimed the personal information pertaining to roughly 83 million accounts with the nation’s biggest bank had been compromised in the attack.

Following the unsealing of a 23-count indictment against the individuals last year, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the defendants had committed “securities fraud on cyber steroids” over the course of operating a sprawling enterprise that thrived through illegal hacking.

As alleged by prosecutors, Mr. Shalon and Mr. Orenstein hacked into computers at a dozen companies in order to steal sensitive information, including names and phone numbers, later using the data to generate millions of dollars in illegal profits through a sophisticated racket involving pump-and-dump stock pricing schemes, online casinos and an illegal bitcoin exchange.

They face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of all counts, which include charges of computer hacking, securities and wire fraud, identity theft, illegal internet gambling and conspiracy, Reuters reported. Attorneys for Mr. Shalon and Mr. Orenstein declined to comment when reached Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Aaron had been at large following the arrest of his co-defendants in Israel last July, but was reportedly apprehended in Russia and is also expected to be brought to the U.S., Wall Street Journal reported.

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