Bitcoin exchange employee pleads guilty in U.S. case tied to hacking

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By Nate Raymond | NEW YORK

NEW YORK A Florida man pleaded guilty on Tuesday
to charges stemming from his employment with an unlicensed
bitcoin exchange that prosecutors say was owned by an Israeli
who oversaw a massive scheme to hack companies including
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Ricardo Hill, 38, entered his plea in Manhattan federal
court to seven counts, including conspiracy to operate an
unlicensed money transmitting business, wire fraud and bank

The Brandon, Florida-resident is one of nine people to face
charges following an investigation connected to a data breach
that JPMorgan disclosed in 2014 involving records for more than
83 million accounts.

The charges against Hill stemmed from his employment as a
finance support manager and business development consultant for
an unlicensed bitcoin exchange called, according to
court papers.

Prosecutors have said was operated by another
Florida man, Anthony Murgio, from 2013 to 2015 and exchanged
millions of dollars into bitcoin while operating through several
fronts, including one called “Collectables Club.”

Prosecutors said was owned by Gery Shalon, an
Israeli who with Maryland-born Joshua Samuel Aaron orchestrated
cyber attacks on companies including JPMorgan that resulted in
more than 100 million people’s information being stolen.

Prosecutors said the men carried out the cybercrimes to
further other schemes with another Israeli, Ziv Orenstein,
including pumping up stock prices with sham promotional

Aaron was deported from Russia in December and taken into
U.S. custody, while Shalon and Orenstein were extradited from
Israel in June. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Murgio, who like Hill was not accused of engaging in the
hacking scheme, pleaded guilty on Jan. 9 to charges that
included conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting
business and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Five other individuals have been charged in connection with, including Murgio’s father. Two individuals linked to it
are scheduled to face trial on Feb. 6.

The case is U.S. v. Murgio et al, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 15-cr-769.

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