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Cabbies who conspired with Russians to hack taxis sentenced | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


Passengers arrive and depart to and from various international destinations at Terminal 4 in JFK International Airport in New York Sunday, June 3, 2007. (AP Photo/David Karp)

Charging fellow cabbies stuck at John F. Kennedy airport in New York $10 each to skip ahead in the busy taxi lines outside seemed like a brilliant plan for drivers Daniel Abayev and Peter Leymen — especially when aided with the help of Russian hackers — but this week, the kickback saga ended with dual prison sentences.

Appearing before U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty on Monday in Manhattan, Abayev was sentenced to four years for the criminal conspiracy while Laymen received two years. The discrepancy was due to Abayev’s role as leader in the plot which saw up to 1,000 “fraudulent taxi trips” roll out of the airport daily for more than a year, according to a statement from prosecutors and confirmed in court records reviewed by Law&Crime.

A sentencing letter explained that the taxi dispatch hacking scheme began in November 2019 and continued through 2021 as the Queens-based cabbies conspired with Russian hackers Aleksandr Derebentc and Kirill Shipulin to access the Port Authority Dispatch System and by “bribing someone to insert a flash drive containing malware into computers” connected there and more.

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