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Kazakhstan confirms two citizens charged in US in online-ad-fraud scheme

Person using laptop computer. (Pexels/Released)
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This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Kazakhstan has confirmed that two of its citizens have been indicted in the United States for an alleged online fraud involving fake advertising that caused companies to lose tens of millions of dollars.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadyarov told reporters in Astana on December 4 that Kazakh citizens Sergei Ovsyannikov and Yevgeny Timchenko had been arrested in Malaysia and Estonia, respectively, on U.S. arrest warrants.

Ovsyannikov, Timchenko, and six Russian nationals were named in the 13-count indictment unsealed in a U.S. District Court in New York on November 27.

The Justice Department said the suspects were indicted on charges that included wire fraud, computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering.

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One of the Russians indicted in the case, Aleksandr Zhukov, was detained in Bulgaria, while the other accused are at large.

Russia’s Consulate in New York has said it was informed about the accusations against the six Russian citizens and was monitoring the situation.

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