“In an effort to conceal their connections to Russia, the defendants used a network of computers located around the world, and paid for it using cryptocurrency,” said deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.
On July 13, 2018, in its indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers linked to hacking offenses in the 2016 election, the US Department of Justice said that the “Conspirators used a network of computers located across the world, including in the United States, and paid for this infrastructure using cryptocurrency.”
Here’s another key highlight:
“To facilitate the purchase of infrastructure used in their hacking activity – including hacking into the computers of U.S. persons and entities involved in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and releasing the stolen documents – the Defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.”
The defendants include Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, Boris Alekseyevich Antonov, Dmitriy Sergeyevich Badin, Ivan Sergeyevich Yermakov, Aleksey Viktorovich Lukashev, Sergey Aleksandrovich Morgachev, Nikolay Yuryevich Kozachek, Pavel Vyacheslavovich Yershov, Artem Andreyevich Malyshev, Aleksandr Vladimirovich Osadchuk, Aleksey Aleksandrovich Potemkin, and Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev. All are alleged to have been “officials in Unit 26165 and Unit 74455 of the Russian government’s Main Intelligence Directorate.”
There are 11 criminal charges outlined in the indictment, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, “Count Ten charges the eleven conspirators with money laundering by transferring cryptocurrencies through a web of transactions in order to purchase computer servers, register domains, and make other payments in furtherance of their hacking activities, while trying to conceal their identities and their links to the Russian government.”