Brooklyn ‘Hacker’ Also Charged in Tax Scam

April 18, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN — A Russian citizen living in Brooklyn used a website that promised job-placement help to the unemployed to steal the identities of 108 people and pocket $450,000 in fraudulent tax refunds, Manhattan prosecutors allege.

Petr Murmylyuk, 31, allegedly targeted the unemployed because they were less likely to have an income or file a tax return, thus decreasing chances that phony returns filed in their names would arouse IRS suspicion.

Prosecutors said that links to Murmylyuk’s crooked website, which claimed to be “sponsored by the government and intended for people with low income,” were distributed on legitimate job-search forums and through college electronic mailing lists, according to The New York Times.

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Murmylyuk allegedly enlisted the help of 11 Kazakh students who were living in the U.S. to launder his earnings from the tax ploy, using bank accounts the students opened across the country.

Federal prosecutors in Newark brought further charges against Murmylyuk Tuesday, charging him with participation in a hacking ring that stole more than $1 million from brokerage accounts at Scottrade, E*Trade, Fidelity, Schwab and other firms.

Murmylyuk, also known as Dmitry Tokar, is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, unauthorized access to computers and securities fraud in the hacking scheme.

After gaining unauthorized access to the accounts, the hackers changed personal information so the victims wouldn’t be alerted to unauthorized trading. They then used stolen identities to open additional online accounts and caused their victims’ accounts to make unprofitable and illogical securities trades that benefited the hackers.

If convicted, Murmylyuk faces up to five years in prison.

—Brooklyn Daily Eagle and The Associated Press

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