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HomeSecurityU.S. DOJ Extradites and Charges Ukrainian National for $11.8 Million Cryptocurrency Theft

U.S. DOJ Extradites and Charges Ukrainian National for $11.8 Million Cryptocurrency Theft


In a significant crackdown on cybercrime, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday that Nikita Andreevich Sklyuev, also known as Valeriy Dorojkin, has been extradited from Ukraine and arraigned in Buffalo, NY. Sklyuev faces charges of wire fraud and fraudulent use of an unauthorized access device. This development marks a crucial step in addressing the burgeoning issue of cryptocurrency-related fraud.

Sklyuev is accused of submitting a deceptive cryptocurrency wallet application, named “EOSIO Wallet Explorer,” to the Apple App Store in June 2018. The app, which posed as a legitimate cryptocurrency wallet, was designed with malicious intent—to steal users’ private keys. This granted Sklyuev unauthorized access to their cryptocurrency funds. The app’s true nature came to light when, in September 2018, a victim from Western New York installed the app and subsequently lost control of approximately $11.8 million in cryptocurrency.

The stolen funds were then transferred by Sklyuev to various online wallets under his control, effectively laundering the illicit gains. The severity of Sklyuev’s actions is underscored by the charges he faces, which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The extradition of Sklyuev was facilitated by the DOJ’s Office of International Affairs, working in concert with Romanian and Ukrainian authorities. This international collaboration highlights the global nature of cybercrime and the necessity for cross-border cooperation in bringing cybercriminals to justice.

Sklyuev is currently being held pending a detention hearing scheduled for July 3, 2024. This case serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities in the rapidly evolving world of cryptocurrency and the ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to combat such sophisticated financial crimes.

The DOJ’s action not only seeks to hold Sklyuev accountable but also aims to deter similar fraudulent activities in the future. As the digital currency landscape continues to expand, the importance of robust security measures and vigilant oversight becomes increasingly paramount.



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