U.S. trial set over bitcoin exchange linked to JPMorgan hack probe

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By Nate Raymond | NEW YORK

NEW YORK A Florida software engineer and a New
Jersey pastor are expected on Monday to face trial in a case
stemming from an investigation into a bitcoin exchange and a
data breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Jury selection is set to begin in Manhattan federal court in
the case of Yuri Lebedev, who authorities call the architect of
bitcoin exchange Coin.mx’s electronic platform, and Trevon
Gross, a pastor and ex-chairman of a now-defunct credit union.

Prosecutors contend Lebedev schemed to deceive financial
institutions into processing transactions for the unlicensed
Coin.mx. They say he also participated in bribing Gross to gain
control over the credit union to facilitate the virtual currency
business.

Both men have pleaded not guilty. Eric Creizman, Lebedev’s
lawyer, said he was “looking forward to his day in court.”
Gross’ attorneys did not respond to requests for comment.

They are among nine people who have faced charges following
an investigation connected to a breach JPMorgan disclosed in
2014 that exposed more than 83 million accounts.

Gross, 52, and Lebedev, 39, were not accused of hacking.

But they came under scrutiny in connection with Coin.mx,
which authorities said was operated by Anthony Murgio, who
attended Florida State University with Lebedev, and was owned by
an Israeli behind the JPMorgan breach, Gery Shalon.

Prosecutors say Shalon, together with Maryland-born Joshua
Samuel Aaron, orchestrated cyber attacks that resulted in the
theft of over 100 million peoples’ information.

Prosecutors said they carried out the cyber crimes to
further other schemes with another Israeli, Ziv Orenstein,
including pumping up stock prices with promotional emails.
Shalon, Aaron and Orenstein have pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said Coin.mx operated through a front called “Collectables Club” to trick financial institutions into
believing it was a memorabilia club while it converted, with no
license, millions of dollars into bitcoin.

To further evade scrutiny, in 2014, Murgio, with Lebedev’s
help, tried to take over Helping Other People Excel Federal
Credit Union of Jackson, New Jersey, which was linked to HOPE
Cathedral.

To do so, they and others paid $150,000 in bribes via the
church to Gross, its pastor, in exchange for facilitating
Murgio’s takeover and arranging for Lebedev and others to be put
on the credit union’s board, prosecutors said.

Gross’ lawyers deny he was lining his pockets with what they
call a church donation and say Collectables Club victimized the
board.

Federal regulators took the credit union into
conservatorship in 2015. Murgio pleaded guilty in
January.



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