US charges Russian father and son with cyberfraud

NEW YORK: US authorities have unsealed criminal charges accusing a father and son team, both Russian citizens, of hacking into US bank accounts and illegally snatching credit card numbers and stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The criminal indictment, which was brought in Manhattan federal court in 2007 but made public on Tuesday, charges Vladimir Zdorovenin, and his son, Kirill Zdorovenin, with eight counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy.

The indictment was made public as Vladimir Zdorovenin, 54, was extradited from Switzerland to New York on Monday and will be presented before a federal magistrate judge later on Tuesday. He was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland in March.

Kirill Zdorovenin, remains at large, authorities said.

The indictment accuses the Russians of devising a variety of schemes in 2004 and 2005, including stealing credit card numbers and hacking into the brokerage and other accounts of their targets in the United States.

“Zdorovenin’s egregious behaviour illustrated the true colours of the cyberunderground, as he and his son allegedly defrauded consumers of hundreds of thousands of dollars using compromised credit cards, all fronted through fictitious companies they had created,” Janice Fedarcyk, the assistant director of the FBI in New York, said in a statement.

“In addition, Zdorovenin allegedly installed malware to access victims’ brokerage accounts, trading victims’ securities and manipulating the price of stocks Zdorovenin already owned,” Fedarcyk said.”

Vladimir Zdorovenin faces up to life in prison if convicted on the charges. — Reuters

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