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Chinese Man Arrested in Singapore for Defrauding US Government via Global Cybercrime Network

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Chinese Man Arrested in Singapore for Defrauding US Government via Global Cybercrime Network

(CTN News) – A 35-year-old Chinese man was arrested in Singapore, and millions of dollars in cars watches, and real estate were seized as part of a blockbuster raid on a global cybercriminal network that cheated the US government of billions of dollars, according to the Justice Department on Wednesday.

YunHe Wang, a Chinese man, is suspected of helping create a massive network of infected computers, known as a botnet, which was used to carry out bomb threats, transfer child exploitation materials, and conduct financial fraud, among other schemes, according to the department.

During the coronavirus pandemic, fraudsters utilized the botnet to submit tens of thousands of bogus federal relief applications, resulting in losses of around $5.9 billion, according to Departments of Justice and Treasury statements.

The alleged cybercrime and the luxury lifestyle it funded “read like they’re ripped from a screenplay,” said Matthew Axelrod, a senior US Commerce Department official involved in the inquiry.

Brett Leatherman, a senior FBI official, informed reporters that law enforcement agents seized approximately $4 million in watches, sports vehicles, and other luxury goods, including a Ferrari and Rolls-Royce, as well as $30 million in real estate properties in East Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the United States.

According to an indictment released in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Wang utilized the money he received from renting the botnet to purchase property in those areas.

According to the Justice Department, Singaporean and Thai authorities collaborated with the FBI on the bust.

Wang did not have an attorney, according to court documents. Leatherman stated that the US government was pursuing his extradition to the US and that an investigation into other possible suspects was ongoing.

Wang and other suspected members of the criminal network utilized virtual private networking (VPN) to propagate their harmful code, infecting 19 million IP addresses globally, including over 600,000 in the United States, according to authorities. IP addresses are the unique identifiers that identify specific devices on the Internet.

The recent accusations highlight the prevalence of opportunistic fraud in the US since the outbreak of COVID-19 over four years ago. The botnet targeted the 2020 CARES Act, a federal economic stimulus proposal worth over $2 trillion.

The Secret Service appointed a senior officer as the National Pandemic Fraud Recovery Coordinator to recover stolen billions of dollars.

Frauds of this nature are continuous. The IRS reported examining tax and money laundering cases tied to COVID-19 fraud in March, possibly totaling $9 billion. More than half of these cases were opened within the past year.

Source – CNN

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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