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Arizona Woman Allegedly Orchestrates Massive Remote-Work Scam, Aiding North Koreans in Securing US IT Jobs

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In a bold scheme that has rocked the American business community, an Arizona woman is accused of helping North Korean citizens secure remote IT jobs at more than 300 U.S.-based companies, including Fortune 500 companies. The alleged operation , which federal prosecutors say generated millions of dollars for North Korea’s ballistic missile program, has been described as a “staggering fraud” across multiple sectors.

Christina Marie Chapman, 49, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., is said to have raised $6.8 million through this elaborate scheme, according to an indictment unsealed late Thursday. Prosecutors allege that Chapman funneled the funds to North Korea’s Department of Munitions Industry, a key player in the country’s weapons program, including the development of ballistic missiles.

The indictment details how Chapman and her co-conspirators allegedly compromised the identities of more than 60 U.S. residents, using their personal information to secure IT jobs for North Koreans at a wide range of U.S. companies. These include one of the five major national television networks, a major Silicon Valley technology company, an aerospace and defense manufacturer, an iconic American automaker, a high-end retail chain, and a leading media and most recognizable entertainment in the world, all of which are Fortune 500 companies.

“The conspiracy perpetrated a staggering fraud against a multitude of industries, to the detriment of generally unsuspecting American businesses and individuals,” the indictment reads. It further states that the scheme “caused false information to be submitted to DHS on more than 100 occasions, created false tax liabilities for more than 35 U.S. citizens, and resulted in the generation of at least $6.8 million in income for IT workers abroad.”

Chapman is also accused of running a “laptop farm” in one of her residences, creating the illusion that North Korean IT staff were working from the United States. According to the accusation, she received the employees’ paychecks at her home.

Nicole Argentieri, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, warned that the charges should serve as a “wake-up call to American companies and government agencies that employ remote IT workers.” She pointed out that these crimes not only benefited the North Korean government by providing a revenue stream but, in some cases, also enabled the conspirators to steal classified information.

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