The men were accused of crimes ranging from securities fraud to money laundering—not with anything directly related to the attack on the bank—but U.S. officials confirmed there was a link.
The names of two of the men arrested Tuesday appeared in an Federal Bureau of Investigation memo circulated last fall that listed several people of interest related to the J.P. Morgan hacking, a person familiar with the matter said. The officials wouldn’t elaborate on the connection.
The men were charged in a Manhattan federal court Tuesday. Three were accused of running a pump-and-dump scheme to manipulate stock prices, while the other two were accused of operating an illegal bitcoin operation. Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges against the three related to the alleged stock manipulation.
Four of the men were arrested in Florida and Israel, while a fifth remains at large. None of the court documents detailed the men’s connection to the J.P. Morgan hacking last summer.
The hacking episode ultimately involved the theft of contact information for about 76 million households world-wide. The stolen information included names, phone numbers and email addresses. Such information could be valuable to spammers seeking to target millions of email accounts as part of a scam.
The bank has said hackers failed to obtain detailed personal information such as account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers or dates of birth.
The hackers were in the bank’s networks for about two months undetected, raising concerns about the ability of companies and law enforcement to fend off such attacks, people familiar with the matter have said.