Informational: Federal Court Arraignments
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, and Lanny A. Breuer, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on October 26, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, the following individuals were arraigned:
ALEKSANDRS HOHOLKO, age 29, JEVGENIJS KUZMENKO, age 25, VITALIJS DROZDOVS, age 33, all of Latvia, appeared on charges of conspiracy to defraud the Davidson Companies of Great Falls, Montana; extortion affecting commerce; fraud in connection with computers; obtaining financial records through unauthorized access to computers; and threatening communications and receipt of extortion proceeds. The defendants were extradited from the Netherlands and arrived in the United States on October 22, 2009. They are currently detained. If convicted of these charges, they each face possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years supervised release. This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana and the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan M. Archer, Michael S. Lahr and CCIPS Trial Attorneys Joel Schwarz and Jaikumar Ramaswamy are the prosecutors for the United States. The investigation was conducted by the Secret Service.
The defendants pled not guilty to the charges.
The charge, an indictment, information or complaint, is merely an accusation and all persons named as defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. A pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set and the United States will be required to prove the allegations set forth in the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.