back to article Russian super-crook behind $20m internet fraud den Cardplanet and malware-exchange forum pleads guilty

A 29-year-old Russian scumbag has admitted masterminding the Cardplanet underworld marketplace as well as a second forum for elite fraudsters. Aleksei Burkov appeared in a US federal district court in Virginia this week to plead guilty [PDF] to access device fraud, and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, identity theft, …

  1. LazLong

    Throw the book at the scumbag!

    We shouldn't be lenient on the dirtbag. He's one of the very, very few that we've been about to catch and hold accountable. Unless he turns Abagnale and fully cooperates under close supervision, he needs to feel the full punishment under the law. It may not be a deterrent, but it's just.

  2. macjules Silver badge

    Criminal References?

    "To obtain membership in Burkov’s cybercrime forum, prospective members needed three existing members to 'vouch' for their good reputation among cybercriminals and to provide a sum of money, normally $5,000, as insurance,"

    I have never heard of criminals needing references from other criminals. Surely this sort of defies the object of being a crook? Who knows, next we could be seeing Boeing asking their developers to prove that they can write software?

    1. iron Silver badge

      Re: Criminal References?

      So you've never seen a gangster movie where one gangster vouches for another because he's sound?

  3. nematoad Silver badge
    Happy

    So good they named it twice.

    "...to plead guilty to access device fraud, and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, identity theft, wire and access device fraud, and money laundering.

    Right, so they got him twice for the access device fraud. Good work!

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: So good they named it twice.

      They charged him with one count (at least) of access fraud (doing it himself) and one (at least) of conspiracy to commit (working with/facilitating others to do it).

      With the "conspiracy to commit" conviction in hand, should they manage to catch anyone else in the group, the Feds can lean on him to rat on his co-conspirator, with the carrot of reducing his sentence. That might not have been possible without establishing that he, in fact, HAD conspired with the prospective "X".

  4. teknopaul Silver badge

    20m

    Sounds like small fry, rather than a super crook.

    I think you can estimate the value of international crime by looking at bitcoin market cap.

    I suspect the vast majority is illegal buying and selling, ant tax avoidance but a fair chunk will be theft and, as potus would say, criminal cyber.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: 20m

      "Criminal cyber" sounds dirty, like some futuristic prostitution ring using sexbots.

      1. Captain Boing

        Re: 20m

        mmmmm.... sexbots....

  5. G.Y.

    hostage

    Due to that extradition, the Russian put an Israel girl in prison for 6 years, due to (alleged) 6 grams of cannabis in her checked bags in transit through SVO.

    If Russia needs a hostage from your country, watch out for Aeroflot connections

    1. dr john

      Re: hostage

      Time line of events doesn't match her being arrested or sentanced "because" of this guy being charged with fraud.

      From this Reg article:

      "After exhausting his opportunities to appeal the extradition in the Israeli legal system, Burkov was sent to the US to face trial in November of last year, and has now finally coughed to his crimes."

      BUT from the article here https://www.yahoo.com/news/putin-meet-mother-us-israeli-woman-jailed-russia-150717266.html

      "Issachar was caught with nine grams of cannabis in her checked luggage while transiting from India to Israel at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport last April.

      She was convicted in October and jailed for seven-and-a-half years after a court outside Moscow found her guilty of smuggling a "significant amount" of drugs."

      So she was arrested seven months before the credit card thief was sent to the US, nine months before he plead guilty. She was convicted and sentanced a month before he was sent to the US, three months before he plead guilty.

      So I'm not convinced the cases are related.

      Okay 7.5 years for her crime does seem very harsh.

      Are you suggesting this is some sort of far in advance plan ?

      1. G.Y.

        timetable Re: hostage

        That hacker spent a long time in Israel while courts decided on extradition

    2. G.Y.

      Re: hostage

      reference: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51301827

      1. G.Y.

        confirmation Re: hostage

        https://www.polygraph.info/a/putin-israeli-pardon-fact-check/30410460.html

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