Three men from Latvia could each face a prison term of 20 years and a USD 250,000 fine if convicted in a case involving allegations of computer fraud and extortion in Montana. Their trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 29 in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.
Aleksandrs Hoholko, 29, Jevgenijs Kuzmenko, 25, and Vitalijs Drozdovs, 33, were extradited from the Netherlands and arrived in the United States on Oct. 22 to face the charges against them, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana.
All three have pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion affecting commerce; fraud in connection with computers; obtaining financial records through unauthorized access to computers; and threatening communications and receipt of extortion proceeds, according to court records.
The three men were arraigned Oct. 26. They are accused helping a man named Robert Borko in an attempt to extort money from the Great Falls-based financial services business Davidson Companies, according to the Associated Press. Borko allegedly broke into the company’s computer system and accessed records of more than 300,000 clients. He e-mailed the company demanding money in exchange for deleting the records.
The company on Jan. 30, 2008, informed its clients that a database containing personal information had been “unlawfully accessed by a third party through a sophisticated network intrusion.” The company offered its clients a free one-year subscription to a credit reporting service so that they could monitor their accounts.
The three men from Latvia were indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2008. Court records were unsealed only after the men were arrested.
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