US seeks extradition of alleged Ukrainian scammer arrested at Polish border stop

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate speaks during a press conference at the US Department of Justice in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2021.(Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

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Polish law enforcement authorities have arrested a Ukrainian man charged with an array of cyber-related crimes at the behest of the U.S. government, which is now seeking his extradition, court documents obtained by CyberScoop reveal.

Yaroslav Vasinskyi, 22, was arrested on Oct. 8 at a border crossing in Dorohusk, a village located on the Polish and Ukrainian border, according to a filing signed by a prosecutor from the Lublin Local Office, a government office in the southeastern city of Chelm.

A witness statement report reveals that Vasinskyi was apprehended in connection with an international search by U.S. authorities. Vasinskyi is charged with committing fraud, accessing a protected computer without authorization and conspiracy with the purpose of money laundering, the charges show. While the charges remain sealed in the U.S., prosecutors in the District Court of Northern Texas issued an arrest warrant in the case on Aug. 11, 2021.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment on the matter. An official from the Northern District Court of Texas also declined to comment.

The U.S. and Poland do have an extradition agreement.

“They’re going to try to extradite him now, which could take forever,” said an attorney close to the case.

During an interview with Polish prosecutors, Vasinskyi denied any wrongdoing that the U.S. alleged. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted in a federal court, according to the documents.

A page on the Russian-language social media site VKontakte belonging to a user with the same name, date of birth and city of residence as Vasinskyi shows a young man walking through Paris and photographing a BMW luxury vehicle. “If they tell you nasty things about me, believe every word,” states one message on the site.

When reached by CyberScoop, a phone number listed as belonging to Vasinskyi in the court filing hung up upon learning a reporter was calling.

The arrest comes after another alleged cybercriminal, Vladimir Dunaev, of Russia, arrived in the U.S. from South Korea to face charges of allegedly operating the TrickBot botnet, a hacking tool used to launch ransomware attacks against a range of targets. Before that, U.S. prosecutors also charged a Latvian woman with developing code to help TrickBot operators attack victims.

Update, Nov. : This story was amended to state that officials from the Justice Department and the Northern District Court of Texas declined to comment on the Vasinskyi case. 

-In this Story-

District Court of Northern Texas, Poland, TrickBot, Ukraine, Yaroslav Vasinskyi
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