Security & Fraud

Lebedev And Gross Found Guilty In Coin.Mx Trial

After a week of deliberations, the most recent Coin.mx trial has come to a close, said Reuters. New Jersey pastor Trevon Gross and programmer Yuri Lebedev were convicted of conspiracy and bribery charges. Additionally, Lebedev was convicted of wire fraud and bank fraud.

Lebedev and Gross faced conspiracy and bribery charges for playing parts in facilitating an illegal bitcoin exchange business, Coin.mx.

Henry Klingeman, Gross’s attorney, said in an email to Reuters that he would seek an order overturning the verdict, “and — if and when the time comes — a fair and lenient sentence.”

Gross allegedly accepted bribes, including a $150,000 donation to his church, in exchange for enabling unlicensed bitcoin exchange Coin.mx to take over the Helping Other People Excel Federal Credit Union. Lebedev had been accused of working for Coin.mx through a front called “Collectables Club.”

Coin.mx reportedly exchanged millions of dollars into bitcoin, including for ransomware victims, without having the proper licensing in place.

The trial followed an investigation into a data breach that JPMorgan Chase & Co. disclosed back in 2014. The breach exposed over 83 million accounts, leading to charges against nine individuals, including the operator of Coin.mx Anthony Murgio.

Gross, Lebedev and Murgio were not handed hacking charges — prosecutors reportedly pinned Coin.mx owner Gery Shalon as being the one behind the breach.

Murgio pled guilty in January on charges of conspiring to use the scheme to hack companies, including JPMorgan Chase. Murgio faced charges on three counts, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud and operate an illegal money transmitting business.

Under the plea agreement, Murgio will not appeal any sentence in prison of twelve and a half years or less. He is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

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