http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_258316,00030010.htm Associated Press Bangkok (Thailand) May 21, 2003 A Ukrainian man wanted in the United States for large-scale Internet fraud and causing more than $100 million in business losses has been arrested in Thailand, US and Thai officials said on Wednesday. US embassy officials identified the suspect as Maksym Kovalchuk, although he was thought to use a number of aliases. Thai authorities identified him as 25-year-old Maksym Vysochanskyy. He was arrested late on Tuesday while shopping with his wife in Bangkok. The man, who has denied any wrongdoing, is accused of distributing thousands of fake software programs worth more than $3 million and pioneered a new form of Internet theft and account takeover known as Web-spoofing, a US Embassy spokesman said. "This Web-spoofing activity has accelerated identity-based Internet crimes in the US and internationally," the spokesman said. The programmes contained computer code which granted him "a back door" to businesses that installed the programmes on their computers, posing "a huge danger" to their financial security, the spokesman said. Kovalchuk is wanted in northern California on charges of criminal copyright infringement, trafficking in counterfeit goods, money laundering, conspiracy to launder money and the possession of unauthorized access devices. Appearing before reporters on Wednesday, the suspect denied the charges, saying: "They took the wrong person. I didn't do anything wrong in the Net." With tears in his eyes, he also complained about being treated badly by Thai police while in detention. The United States is expected to file an extradition request with Thai authorities, the spokesman said. The maximum penalty faced by the suspect if he is found guilty of the charges was not immediately known. The arrest follows a lengthy investigation by US officials. A US Secret Service attache at the US Embassy in Thailand, James Gehr said that the police had been following the suspect for more than two years, and that he had caused more than $100 million in losses. It was unclear exactly what the losses were, but Gehr said US technology companies such as MicroSoft, Adobe and eBay had helped in the investigation. He did not say whether their businesses had been affected. According to US Secret Service investigators, the suspect has been marketing counterfeit software through a Web site since December 2000, the embassy spokesman said. The suspect is believed to have used more than 16 "financial intermediaries" to launder money from the software sales and direct it to his bank account in the Ukraine, the spokesman said. He came to Thailand from Russia on May 17, vacationed briefly on the resort island of Samui, and returned to Bangkok shortly before he was arrested, police said. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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