The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted five people on charges of defrauding more than 300 companies by hiring IT workers linked to North Korea to raise funds for the country's nuclear program.

On May 16, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted five people, including one American woman, for allegedly engaging in profiteering from North Korea's nuclear weapons development program.

Rewards for Justice – Reward Offer for Information on North Korean IT Workers - United States Department of State

Chapman Indictment 05082024 GJ VERSION FINAL.REDACTED - chapman_indictment.pdf
(PDF file)

American IT Scammer Helped North Korea Fund Nuclear Weapons Program, US Says - WSJ

Five charged for cyber schemes to benefit North Korea's weapons program

Defendants Christina Marie Chapman and Oleksandr Didenko are alleged to have engaged in a campaign by the North Korean government to 'illegally infiltrate the U.S. job market to generate revenue for its nuclear weapons development program' between October 2020 and October 2023. Chapman was arrested in Arizona on May 15, 2024, and Didenko was arrested in Poland on May 7, 2024. At the time of writing, the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking Didenko's extradition to the United States.

According to the indictment, Chapman and his associates stored computers for North Korean IT workers in their homes to make it appear as if the workers were working in the United States, but in reality, the IT workers accessed Chapman and his associates' PCs remotely from inside North Korea to perform their daily work.

North Korean IT workers were employed as remote software and application developers by several U.S. companies, including aerospace and defense companies, major television networks, and technology companies, and were paid a total of $6.8 million (about 1 billion yen) in compensation for their work.

Didenko also offered a service called '

UpWorkSell ' that allowed North Korean IT workers to use fake IDs to search for jobs in the U.S. At the time of writing, UpWorkSell had been seized by the U.S. Department of Justice, and the UpWorkSell page stated, 'This Website Has Been Sized.'

The Department of Justice alleges that 'Didenko managed approximately 871 proxy IDs and provided proxy accounts to three freelance developer hiring platforms. He also allegedly provided proxy accounts to three different money service senders.' 'Didenko conspired with Jiho Han, Haoran Zhou, and Chunji Jin, who are also indicted in this case, to operate at least three U.S.-based 'laptop farms' that hosted approximately 79 computers. Didenko has sent or received more than $920,000 since July 2018.'

According to the Department of Justice, Chapman and his associates' actions compromised the identities of over 60 Americans, affected over 300 American companies, and falsely charged 35 U.S. citizens tax liabilities.

If convicted, Chapman faces up to 97.5 years in prison, Didenko faces 67.5 years in prison on charges of conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud, identity theft and bank fraud, and Han and his co-defendants face up to 20 years in prison on charges of money laundering. 'Chapman and his co-defendants stole the identities of U.S. citizens and enabled individuals based overseas to pose as remote IT developers in the United States,' said Nicole Argentieri, Director of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division.

In addition, on May 16, 2024, the U.S. State Department announced a reward of up to $5 million (approximately 780 million yen) for information related to Chapman's co-conspirators, North Korean IT workers, and those directing Chapman and others.

in Web Service, Posted by log1r_ut