Calgary fraud charges dropped to extradite hacker to U.S.

A hacker who once cracked the Pengaton's computer system is going to be extradited from Calgary to face charges in New York of masterminding a global fraud network.

A hacker who once cracked the Pentagon's computer system is going to be extradited from Calgary to face charges in New York of masterminding a global fraud network.

Ehud Tenenbaum, 29, was accused of stealing more than $1.8 million from Direct Cash Management, a Calgary company that sells prepaid debit and credit cards, along with three other accomplices.

The Israeli citizen allegedly increased the limits on the cards — via a computer in his Montreal apartment — and then withdrew money from ATMs. However, the Crown withdrew six charges of unauthorized use of credit card data and one count of fraud over $5,000 against Tenenbaum on Tuesday morning.

His Calgary lawyer, Hersh Wolch, said the Canadian charges were withdrawn to speed up the legal process, and that his client agreed to the extradition.

"He was charged in both Canada and the United States and I think all parties appreciated that it would be unfair to have him go through a prosecution in both countries for what is in many ways the same kind of thing," Wolch told CBC News.

Accused of conceiving global fraud network

Tenenbaum, nicknamed the Analyzer, is alleged to have created a global fraud network — spanning financial institutions in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Turkey — set up to steal credit card and debit card information.

"He just wants to get to the States and deal with his charges. You know he's been in custody here and he's not a big fan of the Calgary Remand Centre," said Wolch, who hopes the extradition will happen within a few weeks. The Crown also withdrew charges against Tenenbaum's co-accused, fiancé Priscilla Mastrangelo, 30.

Tenenbaum has been in the Calgary Remand Centre since last summer when he was brought to the city from Montreal to face the Canadian charges.

He gained fame in 1998 for hacking into the Pentagon's computer system. For that, he served 15 months in an Israeli prison.