Aleksey Burkov pleaded guilty for credit card fraud and was sentenced in Virginia by US court. A 30-year old scammer was responsible for running two websites selling credit card information, malicious software and offering other hacking services.
Who is Aleksey Burkov?
A Russian citizen from St. Petersburg was operating a website named Card Planet in the period 2009-2013. The website was selling credit card information, which was stolen mostly from American citizens. It was mentioned that near 150, 000 credit card numbers were sold out, the equivalent ranged from $3-$60 each. On top of that, the website offered money-guarantee, if the credit card wasn’t working for some reason.
Apart from running Card Planet, Burkov created a forum named Direct Connections, where “unique cybercriminals could communicate safely and make hacking plans/schemes, sell and buy stolen information, malware, etc’’. To become a member of the forum, one had to put a $5,000 bond and have three forum members vouch for them as a guarantee of a perfect reputation in the criminal world.
Burkov pleaded guilty with two of five charges against him, including credit card fraud and money laundering; identity theft. He was detained in Ben-Gurion airport, Israel, and the charges against Burkov were filed in 2015.
Alexey Burkov’s extradition
After spending four years in custody, Burkov was sent to the US in November 2019. Before he arrived in Virginia, Russia tried to extradite him and offered Israel a deal: releasing Israeli drug smuggler Naama Issachar (sentenced in Russia) in return for Alexsey Burkov. Nevertheless, the deal never took place and cybercriminal was extradited to the US.
Despite prosecutors insisting on a 15-year sentence, Burkov got 9 years, taking into account 4 years he spent in custody. Moreover, he will have to to pay restitution of $7,000. After serving in prison Burkov will be under surveillance for 3 more years.