Israeli behind massive JPMorgan hack has moved to country, his father says
Georgian politician Shota Shalelashvil says his son left the US after being released in 2021, but plans to go back to America as his ‘skills are too big for Israel’
The alleged mastermind behind a massive hack and data theft of JPMorgan and other banks in a scam involving hundreds of millions of dollars has moved to Israel, his father has revealed, according to a Friday report from Bloomberg news.
Gery Shalon, the Georgian-Israeli son of Georgian politician Shota Shalelashvili, was indicted by a US grand jury in 2015 for what was described at the time as “one of the biggest cybercrimes in history.”
According to Bloomberg, Shalon pled guilty in 2017 in a “sealed courtroom” in return for a sentence that was significantly more lenient than those of his co-conspirators. He was charged on 23 counts before signing the plea deal, which reportedly included his agreement to forfeit more than $400 million.
Speaking in an interview broadcast in the Republic of Georgia, his father said Shalon was granted his freedom in 2021 and then moved back to Israel, according to the report.
“He is in Israel now,” Shalelashvili said. “But I think he plans to go back to the US. His skills are too big for Israel.” Shalon’s father said that his son was granted “absolute freedom” following a court session in the US on January 8, 2021, but did not elaborate on the court proceedings.
Shalon and his accomplices were accused of hacking into banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., stealing customer data and using it to promote a pump-and-dump scheme. They also allegedly ran illegal Internet casinos as well as a payment processing service for criminals and an unlicensed Bitcoin exchange.
Two of Shalon’s alleged accomplices, Russian hacker Andrei Tyurin and Shalon’s accountant Ziv Orenstein, were convicted and sentenced. Tyurin was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
In 2019, Bloomberg reported Shalon was working with US authorities possibly providing insight into “international money laundering.”
Born in Georgia, Shalelashvili emigrated from the former Soviet Union to Israel and then moved back to Georgia in 2016. Since then he has also returned to Israel, Bloomberg said.