A group of Russian military intelligence officers indicted on Friday as part of an ongoing investigation into interference in the US presidential election of 2016 would use bitcoins to finance their operations.
In the newly released prosecution, prosecutors say the 12 named intelligence officers have hacked computer networks and e-mail accounts owned and used by the US Democratic Party, including the Democratic candidate's presidential campaign Hillary Clinton.
The details were included under the conspiracy charge to launder money. According to the indictment, the defendants "conspired to recycle the equivalent of $ 95,000 through a network of structured transactions to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoins."
"In an effort to pay for their efforts around the world … the defendants paid for this with cryptocurrency," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told a news conference.
While the defendants used other currencies, including the US dollar, "they mainly used bitcoins by buying servers, registering domains and otherwise making payments to support hacking."
It is said that payments have been made to companies in the United States, and some of these funds have been traced to a bitcoin mining operation.
The indictment explains:
"In addition to extracting bitcoins, the conspirators have acquired bitcoins through a variety of means designed to obscure the origin of the funds, which included the purchase of bitcoins through the stock exchanges, the transfer of funds through other digital currencies and Use of prepaid cards They have also obtained the assistance of one or more third-party exchanges that have facilitated multi-level transactions through digital currency exchange platforms that have increased anonymity ".
The defendants would have used more "dedicated e-mail accounts" to track down bitcoin transaction information and facilitate payments, the statement added. In addition, incriminated officials transferred bitcoins using the same computers used for hacking various e-mail accounts
The indictment is the last to break out of the current – politically explosive investigation – on the interference of Russian elections and on the possible involvement of members of the presidential campaign of US President Donald Trump .
Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was appointed in May 2017 to lead the inquiry into special councils, which drew Trump's wrath, which vehemently denied any collusion on Election interference.
Rod Rosenstein image through Shutterstock