A UK court has sentenced a Barclays bank employee to six years and four months in prison for helping members of the Dridex cyber-criminal network launder over £2.5 million, which is approximately $3.33 million at today's exchange rate.
According to the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), Jinal Pethad, 29, of London, pleaded guilty on Monday for setting up 105 bank accounts for Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan, two Moldavians working as money mules in the Dridex malware operation.
The two provided Pethad with fake identities, and Pethad would set up fake accounts in these names, or change details, such as addresses and security information, on existing ones.
The group in charge of the Dridex banking trojan would send money stolen from legitimate accounts to the ones that Pethad created. Pethad's role was to make sure the stolen money wasn't blocked before it arrived in these accounts and after.
Gincota and Turcan would then withdraw the money at ATMs, or purchase expensive products using debit cards attached to the sham accounts. The two would sell the expensive products and send a cut of the money to the main Dridex operators.
UK police arrested Gincota and Turcan in February 2015. The two pleaded guilty in October 2016 and were sentenced to 12 years in prison, each. NCA officers arrested Pethda a month later, in November 2016.
Police searched his home where they found £4,000 ($5,300) in cash, seven luxury watches, and three mobile phones. The phones still contained text messages from Gincota and Turcan.
"Can I bring 2 guys for open acc pls??? 1-german; 1-france; or 2-france; who u want? Let me know pls!" one message sent by Gincota reads.
Barclays said it fired Pethad after he learning of the charges. "Barclays has a zero tolerance to any unlawful activity," said a bank spokesperson. "We will always support law enforcement in identifying criminal activity and have no hesitation at all in supporting prosecutions."