Mississauga man jailed in massive FBI and U.S. Secret Service money laundering, cyber crime probe


Published September 9, 2021 at 1:08 pm

A Mississauga man was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for money laundering after a massive investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, FBI and the RCMP.

A Mississauga man has been sentenced to more than 11 years in U.S. prison for conspiring to launder tens of millions of dollars stolen in various international wire and bank fraud schemes, including a massive online banking theft by North Korean cyber criminals. 

Ghaleb Alaumary, 36, sentenced yesterday after earlier pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, must also pay more than $30 million in restitution to victims and serve three years of supervised release after completing his jail sentence, United States Department of Justice officials say.  

A dual Canadian and U.S. national, Alaumary was arrested as a result of a sweeping investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, aided by the FBI and RCMP.  

Court documents show Alaumary and his co-conspirators used business email compromise schemes, ATM cash-outs and bank cyber-heists to steal money from victims and then launder the cash through bank accounts and digital currency.  

The Mississauga man pleaded guilty in Georgia court to his role in two money laundering cases.  

Authorities say three others also entered guilty pleas in connection with the massive investigation. They pleaded guilty in 2019, with one being jailed for 10 years, another imprisoned for just under five years and the third sentenced to six months in jail. 

Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes, Southern District of Georgia, said Alaumary “…served as an integral conduit in a network of cybercriminals who siphoned tens of millions of dollars from multiple entities and institutions across the globe. 

“He laundered money for a rogue nation and some of the world’s worst cybercriminals, and he managed a team of co-conspirators who helped to line the pockets and digital wallets of thieves,” continued Estes, adding U.S. law enforcement and its partners around the world will bring to justice “fraudsters who think they can hide behind a computer screen.” 

U.S. Justice Department Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. said Alaumary’s sentence shows how serious the Department of Justice considers the critical role money launderers play in global cyber crime. 

“International money launderers provide critical services to cybercriminals, helping hacksters and fraudsters to avoid detection and hide their illicit profits,” said Polite Jr. “Small and large companies, a university, banks and others lost tens of millions of dollars in this scheme.” 

In the first case in which Alaumary pleaded guilty, he conspired with others who sent fraudulent emails to a Canadian university in 2017 to make it appear the emails were from a construction company requesting payment for a major building project. Believing the correspondence legitimate, the university wired $11.8 million (Canadian currency) to a bank account controlled by Alaumary and his co-conspirators, authorities say.  

The Mississauga man then arranged with others in the U.S. and elsewhere to launder the stolen funds through various financial institutions.  

Weeks later, Alaumary arranged for a co-conspirator in the U.S. to make several trips to Texas to impersonate wealthy bank customers in a scheme to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from victims’ accounts using their stolen personal information. 

In the second case, Alaumary recruited and organized people to withdraw stolen cash from ATMS, authorities say. He provided bank accounts that received funds from bank cyber-heists and fraud schemes and once the money was in accounts he controlled, Alaumary further laundered the cash through wire transfers, cash withdrawals and by exchanging the funds for cryptocurrency.  

The funds included money from a 2019 North Korean-perpetrated cyber-heist of a Maltese bank, according to authorities. 

Other victims included banks headquartered in India, Pakistan and Malta, as well as companies in the U.S. and U.K., individuals in the U.S. and a professional soccer club in the U.K.  

The U.S. Secret Service said this week’s sentencing speaks to the value of various law enforcement agencies across the United States, Canada and further abroad collaborating on investigations. 

“In spite of the complicated, international nature of this criminal enterprise, the defendant and his co-conspirators were still brought to justice,” said Steven R. Baisel, special agent in charge, Secret Service Atlanta Field Office.  

Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division Calvin A. Shivers added the sentence handed down “demonstrates that cybercriminals who launder illegitimate profits can’t evade detection from the FBI and our law enforcement partners.” 


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