5 Indicted in $4 Million Credit Card FraudEastern Europeans Alleged to be Part of Cyber Gang Prosecutors in New York City have indicted five men from Eastern Europe in a wide-ranging credit card fraud operation that allowed the accused to gain more than $4 million from 95,000 stolen credit card numbers.
This indictment brings to a close the third phase of a four-year investigation across law enforcement agencies in the U.S., Greece, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, says the Manhattan District Attorney's office. There are 17 defendants indicted in the case, and the indictments on the last five defendants were only released this week because of extradition actions.
Law enforcement officials say the case provides more proof of the existence of a sophisticated underground economy with different cybercriminals specializing in certain areas of fraud in a lengthy chain of criminal actions. The prosecutors charge that the defendants were involved in a group called the Western Express Cybercrime Group. The organization would steal and sell credit card numbers on Internet forums called "carding sites" where other criminals would buy the credit cards in batches. The prosecutors say that the crimes were committed between November 2001 to August 2007.
Viatcheslav Vasilyev, 33, of Russia, and Vladimir Kramarenko, 31, were indicted on charges of enterprise corruption, a felony with a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison; scheme to defraud, a felony with a four-year maximum penalty; and grand larceny, money laundering, criminal possession of stolen property and conspiracy. Vasilyev, nicknamed "TheViver," and Kramarenko, known by aliases "Inexwor" and "Envisor," were both arrested in July 2008 in the Czech Republic. They were extradited to the U.S. last week.
The third defendant, Egor Shevelev, 23, of Ukraine, was arrested in May 2008 in Greece. Shevelev faces similar charges to Vasilyev and Kramarenko, and is also charged with attempted criminal possession of stolen property.
The last two defendants remain at large: Dzimitry Burak, 26, of Belarus, and Oleg Kovelin, 28, of Moldova. They've also been indicted on similar charges to Vasilyev and Kramarenko.