US charges 8 in online advertising fraud scheme

November 27, 2018 - 8:08 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says it has charged eight people in connection with the takedown of two international cybercriminal rings that cost advertisers tens of millions of dollars.

In an indictment unsealed Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors say the perpetrators programmed computers they controlled to load advertisements on fake webpages in order to fraudulently obtain digital advertising revenue.

Prosecutors say the ads were never actually viewed by human internet users.

Most of the defendants are in Eastern Europe. Three were arrested overseas and are awaiting extradition. The others remain at large. Charges include wire fraud, computer intrusions, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

Prosecutors say Google and Microsoft helped the U.S. and other international law enforcement agencies unravel the digital schemes.

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