Wire Fraud; Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud; Unauthorized Access to a Protected Computer
|Photo taken in March 2008|
|Sahurovs is thought to be in Rezekne, Latvia. He may also visit Kiev, Ukraine. He is known to use the following screen names: "PIOTREK," PIOTREK89" and "SAGADE."|
CAUTIONPeteris Sahurovs is wanted for his alleged involvement in an international cybercrime scheme that took place from February of 2010 to September of 2010. The scheme utilized a computer virus that involved the online sale of fraudulent computer security programs that defrauded Internet users of more than $2 million.
It is alleged that in February of 2010, Sahurovs contacted an online newspaper claiming to work for an online advertising agency that represented a hotel chain that was seeking to place advertisements on the paper's website. Sahurovs utilized fraudulent references and bank accounts to deceive the newspaper into believing he represented a legitimate advertising agency.
Sahurovs provided electronic files containing the fictitious hotel advertisements to the newspaper, which began running the advertisements on its website. He then replaced the hotel advertisements with a file containing a malicious computer code, or malware, which infected the computers of people who visited the website and required them to purchase antivirus software for $49.95 to regain control of their computers. If the users did not purchase the software, their computers immediately became inundated with pop-ups containing fraudulent "security alerts," and all information, data and files stored on the computers became inaccessible.
Sahurovs allegedly conducted the same fraudulent advertising and infection scheme against numerous online businesses.
On May 17, 2011, Sahurovs was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota, for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and unauthorized access to a protected computer. The same day, a federal warrant was issued for Sahurovs' arrest.