An Israeli private detective has admitted coordinating efforts to hack journalists on behalf of disgraced payment processor Wirecard.
Aviram Azari pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit hacking, and aggravated identity theft, for his role in acting as a middleman in the hacker-for-hire scheme.
The charges relate to Azari’s role in working with Indian hackers BellTroX InfoTech Services, to target Wirecard’s critics.
In the past, the New Delhi based hackers have been accused of targeting journalists, campaigners, lawyers, and hedge fund managers, by stealing their passwords and infiltrating their email addresses.
Azari’s plea comes after journalists from Reuters and the Financial Times investigating Wirecard were targeted by hackers, as they sought to uncover the company’s wrongdoing.
The Bavarian fintech firm later collapsed in 2020 after it was revealed that €1.9bn was missing from its balance sheet.
In March, Munich prosecutors pressed charges against former Wirecard chief executive Markus Braun on allegations of fraud, breach of trust, and accounting manipulation.