A Ukrainian National seemed to be in a pretty good position to evade arrest and prosecution after fleeing to his native country once federal charges were filed against him in New York City and Broward County, Florida. But in 2008, his decision to take a vacation on the Greek island of Rhodes led to his undoing. The United States doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the Ukraine, but in Greece, a treaty is intact.
Egor Shevelev, 27 who has been called “one of the premier vendors of stolen credit card data in the world”, by federal authorities was extradited to New York in 2010 from the popular Greek resort Island to face charges including grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, scheme to defraud, and conspiracy. The charges were filed in an online identity theft case for trafficking and selling a total of more than 95,000 credit card account numbers that produced a total of over a $5 million-plus fraud.
The scheme was carried out operating through an online forum where Shevelev among other cyber-thieves trafficked in stolen, forged and fraudulent credit card numbers as well as other merchandise; turning the sales into cash with the help of unsuspecting eBay users, while Shevelev loafed in the seclusion of his apartment in Kiev.
In addition to the aforementioned criminal activities operated from that apartment, authorities said that Shevelev laundered more than $600,000 in digital currency through E-Gold, which is a worldwide electronic monetary/payments system and the Russian-based payment system WebMoney which based on their Website’s information is a “multifunctional payment tool that provides secure and immediate transactions online”.
Shevelev, who called himself Eskalibur online, also known as Esk, was one of the leaders of an International cybercrime ring that extended from Russia to the United States with stopovers in the Czech Republic. He was convicted of all charges. At the conclusion of a ten-week New York State Supreme Court trial and an eight-year-long investigation, Shevelev, along with his codefendants Anna Ciano, a/k/a “Angela Perez,” 41,and Douglas Latta, a/k/a “Realbusy,” 40, were found guilty by a jury of all charges listed in the Indictment.
Both living in Brooklyn, New York, Ciano and Latta were a duo who acquired in excess of 800 pilfered credit card numbers between the years of 2004 and 2007 from Shevelev as well as other cyber criminals as associates of the online forum.
Ciano was sentenced to up to 47 years in federal prison for her part in the scheme two days before Shevelev was given up to 40 years. Less than a month later in August, 2012, Latta’s punishment returned a term of up to 44 years behind bars.
To read the New York County District Attorney’s Office press release regarding this case in its entirety click here.
But the guilty verdict from New York and the continuance of his sentence will have to wait. In addition to the jury’s verdict and subsequent sentencing, Shevelev will now have to face further federal charges in the Sunshine State.
Late last month, Shevelev made his first appearance in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to face separate charges that were listed in an Indictment that was filed in 2008.
The Indictment charges him with selling stolen credit card numbers and forgery of credit cards for the purpose of committing identity theft. The Indictment alleges that the crimes took place in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as Martin County, which is north of Palm Beach, between the dates of September 2007 and May 2008.
The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel conveyed that investigators who were close to the case were overheard maintaining that the fraud distributed multiple millions of dollars.
Communicating through an interpreter and wearing jail scrubs, Shevelev pleaded not guilty to the charges, during a brief appearance in court. An Assistant Federal Public Defender was appointed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow after Shevelev stated that he had no resources to pay for his own defense. He was mostly silent during the hearing replying to questions in his native language with a yes or no answer. He also asked for a clarification of his legal rights.
The prosecution agreed to a bond of $250,000 which is basically a formality as Shevelev will remain in custody due to his convictions in New York. At the completion of any prison term he will ultimately be deported back to his country of origin.
Cybercrimes are on the rise Just this year, the FBI added five hackers to their Cyber Most Wanted List. If you, a friend or loved one is placed under investigation, arrested or charged for any cybercrime or a crime potentially involving a criminal Internet legal action, an attorney that can be trusted to effectively defend your legal rights and get the best possible outcome of those charges is essential.
Mr. Cohen is a board certified trial lawyer specializing in federal criminal defense. He is rated AV by Martindale Hubbel (pre-eminent) and a “Super Lawyer” recognized as being in the top 5% of his specialized field (criminal trial law) among Florida lawyers. He is considered a specialist by the Florida Bar in his field. Mr. Cohen has tried scores of cases over his 35 year career and is a member of the Florida and New York Bars. He practices in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami, among other counties. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh and Second Circuit.
Mr. Cohen’s practice has recently expanded and he is now a partner in the prestigious law firm of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP. Through this partnership, Mr. Cohen can now lead your defense in the New York Metropolitan area in addition to the Broward, Dade, or Palm Beach County areas as well as all other jurisdictions throughout the state of Florida
Mr. Cohen is also listed in the 2013 edition of “Best Lawyers in America”