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After blaming Russian government for hack, officials pivot

After financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. was hacked last summer, bank and U.S. officials both said the computer crime was the work of the Russian government. Bloomberg News reports that in the aftermath of four recent arrests in Florida and Israel -- for securities fraud and money laundering -- that the original assessment appears to have been wrong.

While the suspects in the securities fraud arrests are allegedly linked to the hacking of JPMorgan Chase, they haven't been charged with the computer crimes.

The American has not been arrested. Officials say he is linked by his college friendship to a West Palm Beach man who is accused of laundering money in a Bitcoin-exchange business that catered to hackers and others.

The West Palm Beach's co-conspirator is apparently from Russia, and both the West Palm Beach man and the American in the first case travel frequently to that country. How does all of this information link those accused to the JPMorgan Chase hack last summer? Federal officials are apparently as confused as anyone.

Court documents in the two cases fail to link the alleged schemes to each other or directly to the JPMorgan Chase hack. Bloomberg News says that leaves a big question hanging over both cases and all those indicted and arrested: where are the JPMorgan Chase hackers and to what extent are any of the recently accused involved in the massive hack, if at all?

Computer crimes can span continents in fractions of seconds and weave in and out of difficult-to-trace online connections and cyber undergrounds in other nations. Shadowy links between suspects makes prosecution in these cases difficult, and also complicates the defense of those accused as well.

Effective defense rests not only on knowledge of the law, but also experience in defending the rights and liberties of those accused of digital crimes, including hacking, securities fraud, stock manipulation, money laundering and others. the Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A. combines critical experience with vital knowledge in our vigorous defense of our clients. Please see our Securities Fraud page for more information.