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Russia denies asylum to US citizen wanted for hacking JPMorgan Chase

US citizen Joshua Samuel Aaron, wanted in the US for stealing data on 100 million clients of the JPMorgan Chase bank, has asked for political asylum in Russia only to see his request turned down, a source in the law enforcement has told TASS.

"The US national in question, currently at a special detention center for foreign nationals pending deportation, has asked Russia for political asylum. In his home country he is faced with a 170-year prison term. His request has been turned down, but he has protested the ruling, so now the decision in favor of his deportation has been suspended until courts pronounce the final verdict regarding his request and the decision takes effect," the source explained.

Shortly after his detention Aaron started complaining about his health problems, but the court found that the presented documentary evidence was not convincing enough.

Earlier on Tuesday Bloomberg said that Aaron, whom the United States holds responsible for a cyberattack against JPMorgan Chase, is kept in custody at a detention center for illegal migrants in Moscow and is negotiating his return home. The agency said Aaron's lawyers and the US authorities might come to terms by the end of this month.

Aaron has dismissed the cyberattack charges. He declared he knew nothing about the warrant for his arrest issued in the United States. His relatives have confirmed the very instance of negotiations but would not elaborate.

Detention and deportation decision

The Moscow police detained Joshua Aaron in May 2016, when in the process of an ID check he failed to present a valid passport. He had arrived in Russia from Ukraine on May 23, 2015, several weeks before the issue of a warrant for his arrest in the United States.

Sources in Moscow's judiciary have told TASS that the Tverskoi district court on May 20 declared that Aaron had violated the rules of stay in Russian territory (he carried no documents confirming his right to say in Russia and failed to obtain registration from the migration authorities within seven days following his arrival). The court fined him 5,000 rubles (roughly $80) and ordered expulsion. He was taken to a detention center for foreign nationals until the expulsion decision would take effect.

Police detained Aaron in the center of Moscow. He carried no passport, migration card or visa (his previous six-month visa had expired by then). On June 2 the Moscow City Court turned down his appeal and upheld the deportation decision.

Bloomberg on Tuesday said that according to investigators Joshua Aaron and Israeli citizens Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein before October 2014 carried out a number of cyberattacks against JPMorgan chase to steal data on more than 100 million clients. On the list of the fraudsters' victims were a number of financial companies in New York, Boston (Massachusetts), Omaha (Nebraska) and St. Louis (Missouri). The stolen data allowed the hackers to get unauthorized access to bank accounts.

Shalon and Orenstein were detained in Israel last summer and extradited to the United States.

JPMorgan Chase earlier said the cyberattack against its systems was one of the worst in the whole history of the United States. President Barack Obama pledged to personally monitor progress in the investigation, media said.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 11Oct16]

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Privacy and counterintelligence
small logoThis document has been published on 12Oct16 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.