Cybercriminal from Cyprus sentenced for extorting Phoenix-based website

Mar 19, 2021, 12:20 PM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – A cybercriminal from Cyprus has pleaded guilty to extorting multiple American websites, including one based in Phoenix, according to federal authorities.

Joshua Polloso Epifaniou, 22, was the first Cypriot national to be extradited to the United States, the Justice Department said in a press release Wednesday.

“Epifaniou harvested the personal information of website users to extort website operators into paying large ransoms,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in the release.

A judge sentenced him one year in federal prison, on top of credit for nearly four years in custody before his sentencing hearing. Epifaniou paid his victims nearly $600,000 in restitution.

Epifaniou was a teenager living with his mother when he carried out the scheme between at least October 2014 and November 2016, according to the release.

A consumer report website headquartered in Phoenix was among his victims. He also extorted a sports news website owned by Turner Broadcasting System, a California-based online game publisher, a New York hardware company and a Virginia-based online employment website.

After Epifaniou and co-conspirators stole sensitive information from the sites, they threatened to leak the data if the victims didn’t pay a ransom in cryptocurrency, according to the release.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

In the first half of 2019, more than 3.27million pedestrians crossed frmo Mexico to the U.S. throug...
SuElen Rivera

Santa Cruz County sheriff, who oversees Nogales, believes ‘there is no invasion’ at the southern border

Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway said on Wednesday he doesn't believe there is an invasion at the southern Arizona border.
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Downtown Mesa)...

Inaugural Beards and Brews Booze Crawl coming to downtown Mesa on Saturday

Get in the holiday spirit this weekend with a new pub crawl in downtown Mesa this Saturday called Beards and Brews Booze Crawl.
7 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Phoenix boosts lifeguard pay incentive to $3,000 for 2023 pool season

After only having enough staff to open about half of its pools in 2022, the city of Phoenix is upping its incentive to lifeguards for next year.
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)...

Chandler City Council approves policy to prohibit acts of discrimination

The Chandler City Council voted 6-1 to adopt an ordinance that prohibits discrimination during Monday’s meeting.
1 day ago
(Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Execution warrant requested for Arizona death row inmate

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has requested the state Supreme Court issue a warrant of execution for death row inmate Aaron Gunches.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Angel Zamora)...

2 Phoenix police officers charged with assault in October incident with shooting suspect

Charges against two Phoenix police officers accused of assaulting a shooting suspect during an October arrest have been submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Cybercriminal from Cyprus sentenced for extorting Phoenix-based website