Savannah, Georgia - A Canadian man was sentenced Wednesday to 140 months in federal prison for conspiring to launder tens of millions of dollars stolen in various wire and bank fraud schemes, including a massive online banking theft by North Korean cyber criminals that is part of a pending case in Los Angeles.
Ghaleb Alaumary, 36, of Mississauga, Ontario, who is a dual Canadian and U.S. citizen, was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering in two cases, one of which was filed in Los Angeles. As part of his sentence that covers both cases, Alaumary was ordered to pay more than $30 million in restitution to victims.
According to court documents, Alaumary and his coconspirators used business email compromise schemes, ATM cash-outs, and bank cyber-heists to steal money from victims and then launder the money through bank accounts and digital currency.
In the Los Angeles case that was transferred to the Southern District of Georgia for his guilty plea and sentencing, Alaumary recruited and organized individuals to withdraw stolen cash from ATMs; he provided bank accounts that received funds from bank cyber-heists and fraud schemes; and, once the ill-gotten funds were in accounts he controlled, Alaumary further laundered the funds through wire transfers, cash withdrawals, and by exchanging the funds for cryptocurrency. The funds included those from North Korean-perpetrated crimes, including the 2019 cyber-heist of a Maltese bank and the 2018 ATM cash-out theft from BankIslami in Pakistan. Other victims of Alaumary’s crimes included a bank headquartered in India, as well as companies in the U.S. and U.K., individuals in the U.S., and a professional soccer club in the United Kingdom.
In the case filed by the Southern District of Georgia, Alaumary conspired with others who sent fraudulent “spoofed” emails to a university in Canada in 2017 to make it appear the emails were from a construction company requesting payment for a major building project. The university, believing it was paying the construction company, wired 11.8 million Canadian dollars (approximately 9.4 million U.S. dollars) to a bank account controlled by Alaumary and his coconspirators. Alaumary then arranged with individuals in the U.S. and elsewhere to launder the stolen funds through various financial institutions. Weeks later, Alaumary arranged for a coconspirator in the United States 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 the victims’ stolen personally identifiable information.
The investigations of Alaumary were conducted by the United States Secret Service’s Savannah Field Office, the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, and the United States Secret Service’s Los Angeles Field Office and Global Investigative Operations Center. The FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division also provided substantial assistance.
The Los Angeles case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Khaldoun Shobaki of the Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section.