A pair of cybercriminals responsible for laundering millions of pounds stolen using a banking trojan have been sentenced to a combined total of 12 years in prison.
Pavel Gincota, 32, and Ion Turcan, 35, are Moldovan nationals with Romanian citizenship. The duo made over £2.5m in criminal profits using the banking trojan Dridex, the National Crime Agency and London's Metropolitan Police Service revealed.
The pair were charged with conspiracy to possess false identification and conspiracy to launder money, while Gincota was also charged with a separate money laundering offence in relation to a cyber fraud in Germany in 2012, in which the victim lost €25,000.
Gincota and Turcan pleaded guilty to all of the charges against them and were sentenced yesterday at the Old Bailey to five years and eight months and seven years respectively.
Over two years the pair “funded a luxury lifestyle” with their ill-gotten gains, garnered from more than 220 bank accounts which they had accessed after infecting their victims' machines.
According to Court News UK (behind paywall), the investigation into the pair began in June 2015 "after more than half a million pounds was stolen from a medical research company and laundered through a series of Barclays accounts".
They were reportedly already under investigation by the National Crime Agency when they were arrested by the Met in February 2015 for being in possession of multiple false identity documents. During a search of their home in Yiewsley, West Drayton, the cops seized further fraudulent documents and several electronic devices.
Forensic examination of these devices by the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) confirmed that a laptop belonging to Gincota had been used to control the bank accounts through which the money was laundered.
Steve Brown, senior investigating officer at the NCCU, said: “Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan were serial money launderers who processed millions of pounds worth of stolen money through hundreds of bank accounts to fund their lifestyles.
“Those involved in the most serious types of organised crime depend on the services provided by money launderers like Gincota and Turcan to hide their criminal profits."
He continued: “The NCA will continue to work closely with our partners to prevent organised criminals from accessing the proceeds of their crimes and to bring them to justice.” ®