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CRIMJ 420 Criminal Law and Procedure

Published : 03-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10


Using only government Internet sites, discuss two distinct cases that have crossed international boundaries. How was the crime committed, what country was the attack from, how was the attack found, what laws were violated?


Criminal cases that crossed international boundaries

Cross border economic crimes normally take place in a range of carefully analyzed and strategized ways. Common examples include acts of dishonesty directed at un-expecting victims in other countries, fraud directed at government institutions like the evasion of customs duties, and the manipulation of accounts like banks that are staged overseas so as to obtain funds illegally. Also, the laundering of the proceeds of the acts of crime typically takes place over jurisdictional borders (Smith, 2001). The paper will in an in-depth analysis examine two case studies that illustrate cross-border economic crimes in the 21st century. Also, it will examine the criminal justice concerns attached to the respective cases as well as set the agenda for reform of the crime phenomenon. The victims of economic crimes and the perpetrators can be located in different places anywhere in the world unlike the cases in crimes involving personal violence.

Case one- The Citibank case

The Citibank case is the most convenient example of a conspiracy to defraud a victim. In this case, a group of fraudsters who were computer hackers from Russia attempted to steal over US$10.7 million from different Citibank customers’ accounts in June and October 1994. The targeted accounts were dominantly from the United States. The perpetrators attempted to do this by manipulating the banks’ computerized funds as well as the transfer system. One of the criminals, Vladimir L.  Levin, gained access more than forty times to the banks’ funds transfer system. He gained the access from a personalized computer, a couple of stolen account identification logins, and stolen passwords. He also used a computer terminal that belonged to his employers’ office in Petersburg to authorize transfer money from the head office of Citibank in New Jersey to different accounts that he and his co-conspirators owned in Germany, Netherlands and Israel. Levin was arrested on 3rd March 1995 and was subjected to protracted legal proceedings. He pleaded guilty on 24th February 1998 and was sent to prison for 36 months and ordered to pay back Citibank US$240,010.

Case two- George Hourmouzis  

The case concerned one offender George Hourmouzis who deceived several victims in several countries. The internet in this case extensively facilitated the commission of this crime and continues to be an agent of such crimes (Dixon, 2013). The perpetrator was a 24-year-old man residing in Melbourne Suburb. George manipulated the share price of a giant American Company (Hwee, 2000). He managed to carry out the crime through posting misleading information on the internet as well as sending counterfeits emails that contained false information about the company to people across the globe. On 9th May 1999, George Hourmouzis posted messages on the internet to recipients in Australia, America, and other countries across the world. In the statement, he claimed that the share value of the company would increase from US$0.33 to US$3.00 and that the value would hike to 900% in the next few months. The major negative effect of this crime is that the share value price of the company’s on the NASDAQ doubled. The Australian security and Investment commission prosecuted George Hourmouzis for the dispersion of false information with the objective of inducing investors in purchasing the stocks of the company.

Regarding prevention and control, the first approach that can be used to prevent cross-border crimes involves transparently providing information to the public illustrating the risk involved as well as sharing vital information between the institutions involved like the regulatory and law enforcement agencies. Providing and sharing information can help curb many practical problems that emerge (Smith, 2001, June). It is also important for operational policing data to be shared among the two previously mentioned bodies that is, the regulatory and law enforcement agencies. Like in the case of George Hourmouzis who manipulated NASDAQ with the aid of deceitful emails, collaborations between securities regulators in Australia and the U.S could have significantly helped the situation (Hotel & Smith, 2000). Also, in another initiative, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation funded the launching of Internet Fraud Complaint Center, a central repository for all the complaints that relate to Internet fraud. The primary purpose of IFCC was to counter cyber crime through tracking and investigating new fraudulent schemes both on a national and an international level.  


Hotel, S. H., & Smith, R. G. (2000). Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants CPA Congress 2000 CPAs—Leading With Vision and Commitment Sub-Theme—Integrity 25 October 2000.

Smith, R. G. (2001). Cross-border economic crime: the agenda for reform. Australian Institute of Criminology.

Dixon, M. (2013). Textbook on international law. Oxford University Press.

Hwee, T. K. (2000, December). Prosecuting Foreign-Based Computer Crime: International Law and Technology Collide. In Symposium on Rule of Law in the Global Village (Vol. 12, p. 14).

Smith, R. G. (2001, June). Controlling Cross-Border Economic Crime. In 4th National Outlook Symposium on Crime in Australia, New Crimes or New Responses convened by the Australian Institute of Criminology and held in Canberra (pp. 21-22).

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