WASHINGTON D.C.

An alleged cryptocurrency money launderer was extradited this week from the Netherlands to the U.S.to face federal charges in Oregon, according to officials.

Denis Mihaqlovic Dubnikov, 29, a Russian citizen, made his initial appearance in federal court today in Portland.

A five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 4.

According to court documents, Dubnikov and his co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of ransomware attacks on individuals and organizations throughout the United States and abroad.

Specifically, Dubnikov and his accomplices laundered ransom payments extracted from victims of the Ryuk ransomware attacks.

After receiving ransom payments, Ryuk actors, Dubnikov and his co-conspirators, and others involved in the scheme, allegedly engaged in various financial transactions, including international financial transactions, to conceal the nature, source, location, ownership, and control of the ransom proceeds.

In July 2019, Dubnikov allegedly laundered more than $400,000 in Ryuk ransom proceeds.

Those involved in the conspiracy laundered at least $70 million in ransom proceeds.

If convicted, Dubnikov faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

First identified in August 2018, Ryuk is a type of ransomware software that, when executed on a computer or network, encrypts files and attempts to delete any system backups.

woman in gold dress hlding sword figurineOf note, Ryuk can target storage drives contained within or physically connected to a computer, including those accessible remotely via a network connection.

Ryuk has been used to target thousands of victims worldwide across a variety of sectors.

In October 2020, law enforcement officials specifically identified Ryuk as an imminent and increasing cybercrime threat to hospitals and healthcare providers in the United States.

The FBI’s Portland Field Office is investigating the case.

The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs handled Dubnikov’s extradition.

Justice Department components who worked on this seizure coordinated their efforts through the department’s Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, which was created to combat the growing number of ransomware and digital extortion attacks.

The Task Force prioritizes the disruption, investigation, and prosecution of ransomware and digital extortion activity.

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.