39 years old Yuri Lebedev came to America from Ukraine as a teenager to achieve something. He is a software engineer and was the technological brain behind Coin.mx. He built this illegal Bitcoin exchange and tricked prominent banks into processing Bitcoin transactions unknowingly.
The banks were led to believe that they were processing innocuous transactions like restaurant-delivery charges and online buying and selling of collectible items. This way Coin.mx laundered huge sums of money for a group of international hackers.
Some of the more prominent victims of Coin.mx include firms like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Dow Jones & Co. among many others. Though Lebedev wasn’t involved in the money laundering or the attacks on prominent financial institutions in 2014, he was involved in operating the exchange.
He was sentenced to 16 months in prison. US district Judge Alison J Nathan carried out the sentencing on Friday. Yuri Lebedev was sentenced for only 16 months even though the maximum prison term for the crime is 10 years. This is because he was not a leader, he did what he was told and also he has no criminal history.
Coin.mx was set up by a group of hackers headed by an Israeli hacker named Gery Shalon. But it was operated for the most part by Anthony Murgio who was sentenced earlier in June to a prison term of five and half years. Coin.mx sold Bitcoins that were used in illegal online transactions and as payment in ransomware attacks. Coin.mx was operated from 2013 to 2015 by Murgio through the Collectables Club Private Member Association, a front company.
Lebedev set up the server arrays used for processing those transactions. In order to stay ahead of the law, Lebedev and his boss planned to bribe a New Jersey pastor so they could take over a credit union run by the church. In the court Lebedev said that he regretted his decision to become involved in Coin.mx.