[ISN] Men accused of Bloomberg extortion lose court bid to avoid extradition

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Mar 20 2002 - 23:57:03 PST

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    [To the best of my knowledge, I am not related to Igor Yarimaka's
    barrister. :)  - WK]
    By Jane Wardell, Associated Press, 3/20/2002 14:28
    LONDON (AP) Two men from Kazakstan, accused of trying to extort
    $200,000 from Bloomberg L.P. after breaking into the company's
    computer system, lost a court bid Wednesday to avoid extradition to
    the United States to face trial.
    Oleg Zezev, 27, and Igor Yarimaka, 37 who have been held in a London
    prison since their arrest in August 2000 had challenged a May 2001
    court ruling that opened the way for their extradition, arguing the
    U.S. government had not provided enough evidence on the case.
    But Lord Woolf, the lord chief justice, ruled Thursday that the judge
    in the earlier court hearing was ''perfectly entitled'' to come to the
    conclusion he did, and refused both men permission to seek a judicial
    review of the decision.
    The pair must now await the final decision of Home Secretary David
    Blunkett on whether they will be extradited. Woolf is the top judge
    for England and Wales.
    Zezev, employed as a technical expert by a company contracted by
    Bloomberg, and his attorney Yarimaka were arrested after Michael
    Bloomberg, former chief executive officer of the financial information
    company, tipped off police about a meeting at London's Hilton Hotel
    with the two men.
    Bloomberg, who has since become mayor of New York, had received an
    e-mail from a man named ''Alex'' demanding the money in return for
    information on security breaches.
    ''Alex'' alleged to be Zezev told Bloomberg he had accessed his e-mail
    account and credit card details and had personal information on the
    company's head of security. ''Alex'' threatened to e-mail Bloomberg
    customers, highlighting the breach of security, and said he had the
    ability to send e-mails purporting to be from senior directors of the
    Both men were charged with four counts of blackmail and two counts of
    computer hacking after the FBI and London's Metropolitan Police
    electronically monitored the meeting at the Hilton.
    Barristers for the two said Wednesday that Judge Wicks had ''erred in
    law'' at a hearing in Bow Street Magistrates Court in May 2001 when he
    opened the way for extradition.
    Helen Malcolm, representing Zezev, said the hacking charges were wrong
    as her client had never intended to alter data on Bloomberg's computer
    in New York.
    Julian Knowles, for Yarimaka, said his client knew nothing of the
    alleged blackmail and there was nothing to link him to the e-mails
    sent by ''Alex.''
    Lord Woolf disagreed, saying that by being able to send fake e-mails,
    ''Alex'' could alter Bloomberg's New York computer and affect the
    reliability of data or information entered into it.
    Lord Woolf added that while he felt sympathy toward Yarimaka's
    position, there was enough evidence for a ''reasonable jury'' to
    conclude that he may have been involved in the blackmail plot from the
    start, and must therefore face trial.
    The charges of extortion and unauthorized computer intrusion in a
    criminal complaint carry potential penalties of more than 20 years in
    prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines in the United
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