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Former FSB Officer Grigory Tsaregorodtsev Sentenced For Bribery

Tsaregorodtsev's downfall was inevitable as he was detained and subsequently brought to trial by .

by Ashish Khaitan April 23, 2024 in Cybersecurity News, Firewall Daily Reading Time: 3 mins read 0

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Former Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Grigory Tsaregorodtsev was sentenced to nine years in prison in a penal colony. The decision was made after Perm Garrison Military Court found Tsaregorodtsev guilty of accepting 1.7 million USD bribe from a cybercrime syndicate in exchange for turning a blind eye to their illicit activities. 

The Grigory Tsaregorodtsev corruption scandal began to unfold in 2022 when Russian authorities apprehended six individuals associated with a notorious cybercrime group operating in the city of Perm in Russia. This group had orchestrated a sophisticated scheme, hacking into thousands of e-commerce websites and pilfering sensitive payment card data.

Their activities facilitated the sale of millions of stolen card details on underground platforms like Trump's Dumps, among others.

Former FSB Officer Grigory Tsaregorodtsev Sentenced For Taking Bribes

At the bottom of this scandal is the once-respected figure within the FSB's counterintelligence division based in the city of Perm. His role came under scrutiny when it was revealed that he had accepted substantial bribes from the hacker groups. These bribes, totaling a staggering 160 million rubles, were exchanged for his protection and influence, allowing the hackers to operate without fear of authorities., reported Krebs on Security.

However, Tsaregorodtsev's downfall was inevitable as he was detained and subsequently brought to trial. Throughout the proceedings, the court uncovered a web of deceit and corruption woven by the former . Despite his attempts to downplay his involvement, the evidence against him proved damning. 

Tsaregorodtsev's defense argued that he had merely engaged in fraudulent activities, rather than outright bribery, as he failed to deliver on the promises made to the cybercriminals.

The Trial of Former FSB Officer Grigory Tsaregorodtsev

The trial of Grigory Tsaregorodtsev shed light on the extent of the operation and the things acquired by the ex-FBS officer with the bribes, including lavish properties, luxury vehicles, and a substantial cache of cash and gold bars. 

According to Russian newspaper Коммерсантъ, the outcome of the court session revealed that Tsaregorodtsev had abused his position of authority for personal enrichment, betraying the trust placed in him by the Russian state and its citizens.

Ultimately, the court handed down a harsh sentence, condemning Tsaregorodtsev to nine years in a maximum-security facility and imposing a hefty fine of 320 million rubles. Furthermore, he was stripped of his military rank and barred from holding certain positions upon his released.

The court also stated that “he must pay the state an amount equal to the size of the bribe: minus the value of the valuables and money seized during the investigation, it amounts to slightly more than 138 million rubles”, added the newspaper.

The repercussions of Tsaregorodtsev's actions extended beyond his own fate, casting doubt over the integrity of the Russian security apparatus. Questions were raised about the extent of corruption within the FSB and the measures needed to root out such malfeasance.

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