Canadian Ransomware Suspect Extradited to US After Officials Seize $28M in Cryptocurrency

A former Canadian government employee was turned over to the US to face charges of using ransomware to scam millions of dollars from victims.

Canada has handed over a former government employee to US officials to face charges of digital extortion by ransomware. Canadian authorities also seized $28 million in cryptocurrencies.

Sebastien Vachon-Desjardins was brought from his home in Quebec, Canada, to appear in court Thursday in Tampa, Florida.

The indictment alleges Vachon-Desjardins, 34, participated in the form of ransomware known as NetWalker to commit various cybercrimes of extortion in 2020, according to a US Department of Justice brief. 

While Vachon-Desjardins' victims weren't identified in the brief, the hacking collective under the NetWalker name was linked to millions of dollars in ransom schemes, including wresting $1.1 million from UC San Francisco's School of Medicine and more from other academic institutions in 2020.

It's not clear how much money Vachon-Desjardins allegedly extorted from victims, but Canadian officers executing a search warrant of his home in Quebec seized 719 Bitcoin, currently valued at approximately $28,151,582, and $790,000 in Canadian currency, according to the Justice Department. 

The indictment alleges that $27 million was traceable to proceeds of his cybercrimes.

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