British man pleads not guilty in alleged hacking scheme

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A British man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges alleging that he and co-conspirators in a hacking group called The Dark Overlord stole data from health care and accounting companies in the U.S. and threatened to release the information unless the companies paid ransom.

Nathan Francis Wyatt, 38, appeared in federal court in St. Louis on Wednesday, after he lost a long fight against his extradition to the U.S.

It was not immediately clear which companies were involved in the alleged plot or why the charges were filed in St. Louis. Records from Wyatt’s extradition case indicate he was charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft and three counts of threatening damage to a computer, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Wyatt and his co-conspirators are accused of accessing company data and threatening to release it publicly unless ransom was paid in the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

A judge’s opinion in Wyatt’s extradition case say the Dark Overlord hackers threatened the daughter of the owners of a health care company, stole money from the PayPal account of another health care provider, demanded $75,000 in bitcoin from a third health care company, and extorted money from a fourth health care company and an accounting firm.

Prosecutors have asked that Wyatt be kept in jail until trial. He has a fiance and three children in England, but no ties to St. Louis or the United States.

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