European Hackers Used Banks, Bitcoins to Launder Millions for Online Fraudsters, Say Prosecutors

By Daniel Bethencourt

A group of 20 money launderers from eastern Europe advertised their services on underground hacking forums and funneled millions of dollars from U.S. fraud schemes through hundreds of international bank accounts, federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh claimed Thursday. The group, QQAAZZ, allegedly used fake IDs and passports, as well as their true identities, to open shell companies and corporate accounts in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Turkey from 2016 through 2019. Some members flew across Europe just to register various firms and complete the onboarding process, according to a 22-page indictment. "Money mules were complicit in the scheme, meaning...