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Man held in detention for federal Internet crime charges

A European man is currently being held in detention in Pennsylvania after being extradited from overseas. The man is charged with an Internet crime in connection to an alleged phishing scheme. Investigators claim that the man was part of an international scheme that stole banking information from computers owned by the government and multiple business entities.

The 30-year-old man was arrested last August and was recently extradited to Pennsylvania. He is accused of running a scheme that involved using malware to access computers and steal financial information. That information was then allegedly used to transfer money out of business and government accounts and into multiple bank accounts, some of which were located overseas.

Authorities claim that the scheme resulted in losses of more than $25 million worldwide. The case was filed in Pennsylvania because a bank and a school district within the state were among the largest targets. Investigators first learned of the problem when an employee of Penneco Oil Company, Inc. opened an email that contained the malware, which led to widespread email issues. When a consultant looked into the problem, the matter was handed over to the FBI.

A detention hearing is expected to take place in early March, but prosecutors are asking that the man be held until the Internet crime charges go to trial. He is believed to be a flight risk, likely because of his international connections and the suspicion that he has access to a great deal of wealth. Additional details may become available as the matter moves closer to trial. Any restitution that might result would be payable to First Commonwealth Bank, which reimbursed the affected parties for the funds that were transferred out of their accounts.

Source: ABC News, "European Man Held Until Hearing in Phishing Scam", Joe Mandak, Feb. 26, 2016

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