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Georgia man pleads guilty in $30M computer hacking scheme

NEW YORK, N.Y. – A Georgia man has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, admitting participating in a computer hacking scheme that generated $30 million in illegal profits.

Leonid Momotok of Suwanee, Georgia, entered the plea Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said Momotok and a group of traders stole secrets by hacking into three business newswires to snatch information from unpublished press releases.

Momotok could face up to 20 years in prison for the crime prosecutors say was carried out from February 2010 to August 2015. They said Ukraine-based computer hackers gained unauthorized access to computer networks for Marketwired L.P., PR Newswire Association LLC and Business Wire.

Prosecutors said Momotok and co-conspirators traded on earnings and other information gleaned from press releases from companies including Caterpillar Inc. and Hewlett Packard.