European man held until hearing in phishing scam

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An Eastern European man will remain in custody until a detention hearing in Pittsburgh on charges he ran an international email phishing scheme that enabled him and others to steal banking information from U.S. companies.

Thirty-year-old Andrey Ghinkul appeared in federal court Friday afternoon. The judge set his arraignment and detention hearing for March 2.

The Moldovan man was arrested in August while on vacation in Cyprus and was extradited to Pennsylvania last week.

Prosecutors say U.S. victims of the malware Ghinkul’s ring used to infect computers lost about $10 million. The charges were filed in Pittsburgh partly because the greatest threats involved a bank and a school district in western Pennsylvania.

Ghinkul doesn’t have an attorney.

Federal prosecutors plan to ask at the detention hearing that he remain jailed until trial.