2 Israelis to be extradited to US in massive hacking case
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2 Israelis to be extradited to US in massive hacking case

Joint US-Israeli undercover probe led to indictment of Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein for data theft from banks

Gery Shalon, second left, and Ziv Orenstein, second right, suspected of being involved in several fraud schemes tied to the NYSE, seen in the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court, July 22, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Gery Shalon, second left, and Ziv Orenstein, second right, suspected of being involved in several fraud schemes tied to the NYSE, seen in the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court, July 22, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Two Israelis charged in a massive hacking and identity theft case will be extradited to the US to stand trial, Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Thursday.

Gary Shalon, 31, and Ziv Orenstein, 40, were indicted Tuesday along with Joshua Samuel Aaron, 31, an American Jew, over what has been called the largest theft of customer data from US financial institutions in history.

In Israel, the extradition is being conducted by the State Prosecutor’s Department of International Affairs and the intelligence branch of the Israel Police. Samri praised the cooperation between Israeli and American law enforcement agencies during the investigation, calling it “productive cooperation between authorities.”

The investigation involved tight coordination between the FBI and the cyber division of Israel Police’s special Lahav 433 unit. Members of the Israel Police Investigations and Intelligence Division also participated in the process.

Shalon and Orenstein were arrested in July for suspected involvement in the affair, following the undercover investigation. Samri said that more than 10 representatives of US law enforcement were in Israel during the arrest and the subsequent inquiry, working together with Lahav 433 and the State Prosecutor’s Office.

FBI Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez praised the joint investigation at Tuesday’s indictment in New York. “We would like to specifically recognize the outstanding work of the Israeli National Police for their exceptional support throughout this investigation,” Rodriguez said.

Tuesday’s 23-count indictment mentions the suspects’ involvement in data theft from a dozen financial institutions and related companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Wall Street Journal, Reuters reported. Aside from identity theft, Shalon, Orenstein and Aaron are charged with stealing hundreds of millions of dollars.

Prosecutors said the three had been working together since 2007 and that their crimes include artificially inflating stock prices, an illegal bitcoin exchange, operating online casinos and creating at least 75 shell companies around the world.

Another defendant, Anthony Murgio, was also charged in the bitcoin exchange.

The charges depict Shalon as the leader of the group.

JTA contributed to this report.

 

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