Pakistani national Muhammad Sohail Qasmani (47) pleaded guilty before a Newark (NJ) judge on Thursday, February 11 2016, to laundering over $19.6 million on behalf of computer hackers and telecommunications fraudsters.
The hacking and telecommunications fraud crimes, allegedly led by Noor Aziz (53), originated in Karachi and involved illegally reprogramming telephone systems so that they could be used to make unlimited long distance calls, all of which were ultimately charged back to the victim corporations.
Qasmani, who operated a money laundering and smuggling business in Thailand, agreed to launder proceeds of the scheme for Aziz and set up multiple bank accounts to receive money generated by the illicit telephone traffic.
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say Qasmani also paid hackers and dialers who worked for Aziz to keep the fraud going.
According to court documents, over a four-year period Qasmani initiated money transfers to 650 unique transferees located in 10 countries (Pakistan, Malaysia, China, the United Arab Emirates, Philippines, India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Thailand and Italy).
From November 2008 through December 31, 2012, Qasmani moved about $19.6 million in fraud proceeds.
Qasmani is being held without bail and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 16, 2016.
The Pakistani citizen’s conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.