U.S. charges Russian father and son with cyber fraud

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2012 2:03 PM
U.S. charges Russian father and son with cyber fraud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities on Tuesday unsealed criminal charges accusing a father and son team, both Russian citizens, of hacking into U.S. 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 Vlaldimir Zdorovenin and his son, Kirill Zdorovenin, with eight counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy.

Vlaldimir Zdorovenin was extradited from Switzerland to New York and will be presented before a judge later on Tuesday, a person familiar with the case 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.

"Mr. Zdorovenin's egregious behavior illustrated the true colors of the cyber underground, 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.

(Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Sandra Maler)