Western Express card crime ring members jailed

Western Express card crime ring members jailed

Several members of a cybercrime ring which trafficked more than 95,000 stolen credit card numbers, causing millions of dollars in losses, have been jailed following a trial in New York.

A jury found three defendants, Egor Shevelev, Douglas Latta and Anna Ciano, guilty of all counts of the indictment against them, including grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, scheme to defraud, and conspiracy.

The three were part of an Internet-based criminal enterprise - the "Western Express Cybercrime Group" - which between 2001 and 2007 was dedicated to trafficking in stolen credit card numbers and other personal identifiers.

Operating out of his apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, Shevelev sold tens of thousands of stolen credit card numbers though Internet forums, making millions of dollars, which was mainly paid in digital currencies such as Egold and Webmoney.

Shevelev them used a firm called Western Express, owned by Vadim Vassilenko, to launder much of the money.

Western Express, Vassilenko and 10 other gang members, who all used the company to launder money using digital currencies, have already pleaded guilty to various charges in a 172-count indictment.

Shevelev - who was arrested while on holiday in Greece in 2008 and extradited to the US - pleaded not guilty but has now been sentenced to between 13 years and four months and 40 years in state prison,

Meawnhile, Brooklyn-based Latta and Anna Ciano were convicted of buying more than 800 stolen card numbers from Shevelev and others. Along with other illegally obtained information, the numbers were used by the pair to make purchases, some of which were fenced through eBay.

Ciano has been sentenced to between 19 years and eight months and 47 years, and Latta to between 22 years and 44 years.

Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance says: "It was a highly profitable scheme that netted the principals millions of dollars. I am pleased that these defendants have been sentenced to prison sentences appropriate to the scope and breadth of their misconduct."

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