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American in Russia to return to face U.S. charges in JPMorgan hacking case


(Reuters) — An American citizen is expected to arrive from Russia on Wednesday to face U.S. charges that he helped orchestrate a massive computer hacking and fraud scheme that included an attack against JPMorgan Chase & Co., his lawyer said.

Joshua Aaron, 32, is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday, after agreeing to return to face charges pending since last year, said Benjamin Brafman, his lawyer.

Representatives for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office is prosecuting the case, declined to comment.

Mr. Aaron is one of nine people to face charges following an investigation connected to a data breach that JPMorgan disclosed in 2014 involving records for more than 83 million accounts.

He was charged along with two Israeli men, Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein, in an indictment filed in November 2015 for his alleged role in crimes targeting 12 companies, including nine financial services firms and media outlets like the Wall Street Journal.

Prosecutors said the scheme dated back to 2007 and compromised more than 100 million people's personal information.
They said the enterprise included pumping up stock prices with sham promotional emails, running online casinos, operating an illegal bitcoin exchange and laundering money through at least 75 shell companies and accounts around the world.

It also involved a massive attack on JPMorgan affecting 83 million customers, the largest theft of customer data from a U.S. financial institution, authorities said.

A separate indictment in Atlanta in November 2015 against Messrs. Shalon and Aaron said that brokerages E-Trade Financial Corp. and Scottrade were also targets, and personal information of more than 10 million customers was compromised.

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