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Russian Citizen Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to Three Years in Prison for Sophisticated International Cyber Crimes

U.S. Attorney’s Office January 04, 2013
  • Southern District of New York (212) 637-2600

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Vladimir Zdorovenin, a Russian national, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to three years in prison in connection with a series of sophisticated international cyber crimes. Zdorovenin, who was initially charged in January 2012 with his son, Kirill Zdorovenin, pled guilty in February 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud for his involvement in the schemes. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “From his perch halfway across the globe, Vladimir Zdorovenin engaged in a slew of cyber crimes that left multiple victims in the United States. Cyber crime is particularly insidious because there is no need for geographic proximity between perpetrators and their victims, and Zdorovenin’s sentence today should serve as a reminder to others that law enforcement does not require geographic proximity to prosecute these crimes either.”

According to documents filed in Manhattan federal court and statements made during court proceedings:

While in Russia between 2004 and 2005, Zdorovenin engaged in a series of crimes that victimized citizens of the United States through the use of stolen credit card information, multiple phony websites, and bank accounts in Russia and Latvia. Specifically, he conspired to steal victims’ personal identification information, including credit card numbers, through the use of computer programs that were surreptitiously installed on victims’ computers and that recorded the information as it was entered by the victims. He also conspired to purchase stolen credit card numbers from other individuals and to use the stolen credit card information to make what appeared to be legitimate purchases of goods from various Internet businesses, including Sofeco LLC, Pintado LLC, and Tallit LLC. However, the purchases were fraudulent and were used as a means of deceiving banks, credit card service processors, credit card holders, and others. In fact, Zdorovenin stole the money directed to the websites through the fraudulent and unauthorized charges he and a co-conspirator caused to be made on the stolen credit cards.

Additionally, Zdorovenin conspired to use the Internet to unlawfully access the financial services accounts of victims located in the United States and then transferred or attempted to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars from those accounts to bank accounts under his and a co-conspirator’s control. Finally, after taking over victims’ online brokerage accounts, Zdorovenin and a co-conspirator bought and sold thousands of shares of certain companies’ stock in an effort to manipulate the prices of those stocks. Zdorovenin and the co-conspirator realized profits through this scheme by simultaneously purchasing or selling shares of the same stocks through an online brokerage account maintained in the name of Rim Investment Management Ltd.

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In addition to his prison term, Zdorovenin, 55, of Moscow, Russia, was ordered to forfeit up to $1 million and pay restitution in an amount to be determined within 90 days.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James J. Pastore, Jr. and Thomas G.A. Brown are in charge of the prosecution.

Kirill Zdorovenin, Zdorovenin’s son and co-conspirator, remains at large. The charges against Kirill Zdorovenin are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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