Pennsylvania Pastor Convicted of Hacking and Insider Trading Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison, Ordered to Pay Over $14.4 Million

Vitaly Korchevsky, a former hedge fund manager and pastor was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $14 million in forfeiture for his role in what the FBI billed as the largest known computer hacking and securities fraud scheme.

“Today’s sentence sends a powerful message that, no matter how sophisticated or novel the scheme, cybercriminals and traders who steal information from U.S. companies and undermine the integrity of our financial markets will be held accountable for their actions,” Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement Thursday.

Korchevsky, 53, who once served as pastor of the Slavic Evangelical Baptist Church in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in a federal court in Brooklyn Thursday by U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.

Last summer he was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and computer intrusion, conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of securities fraud. In addition to being ordered to pay $14.4 million in forfeiture, the former pastor was also ordered to pay a $250,000 fine.

His co-defendant in the case, Vladislay Khalupsky, 48, was sentenced to four years imprisonment for the same charges in January.

“Korchevsky and Khalupsky will now pay the price for using their experience as traders to generate millions of dollars in unlawful trades based on hacked information,” Donoghue said.

Despite his protestations of innocence, Korchevsky, who was also a former Morgan Stanley vice president, was convicted after it was proven by investigators that he profited at least $14 million from 2010 to 2015 by trading securities on information he got from earnings reports and other market-moving announcements stolen by Ukrainian hackers before they were released publicly.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair