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For years, fake remote IT workers at American companies have made millions for North Korea

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of an Arizona woman, a Ukrainian man and three unidentified foreign nationals for allegedly duping more than 300 U.S. companies into thinking they were hiring local IT workers. In reality, these were North Korean citizens, Security matters report.

Christina Marie Chapman, 49, of Arizona, helped run the fraud scheme that generated at least $6.8 million in revenue, allegedly benefiting the North Korean government. The Ministry of Justice has explained:

“Chapman ran a ‘laptop farm’, hosting the overseas IT workers’ computers inside her home, so that the computers appeared to be located in the US, and also received and forged paychecks and received direct deposits of the overseas IT workers’ wages . from the American companies to its financial accounts in the USA.

“The overseas IT workers associated with Chapman’s cell were paid millions for their work, much of which was falsely reported to the IRS and the Social Security Administration on behalf of the actual American people whose identities were stolen or borrowed. Chapman also allegedly conspired with the John Doe defendants to launder money by making financial transactions under aliases to receive money generated by the scheme and move those funds outside the United States, in an attempt to hide that it was the income of the IT workers. fraud.”

Fake IT workers even applied for jobs at two different US government agencies on three different occasions, albeit unsuccessfully.

From what is known, at least 20 overseas IT employees were involved in a scheme that involved compromising the identities of more than 60 people in the US, causing false information to be provided to DHS on more than 100 occasions, and creating false tax liabilities for more than 35. People in the US.

Chapman is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, aggravated identity theft, and several other crimes, and faces a maximum sentence of 97.5 years in prison.

Her co-conspirator, 27-year-old Ukrainian national Oleksandr Didenko, also allegedly owned and operated a US-based online infrastructure, including his own laptop farm. If convicted, Didenko faces a maximum sentence of 67.5 years in prison.

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