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[ISN] 5 More Indicted in Probe of International Carding Ring


By Kim Zetter
Threat Level
September 1, 2009

Five eastern European men were indicted in New York on Monday as part of 
an international ring allegedly responsible for at least $4 million in 
credit card theft.

The ring, which authorities dubbed the Western Express Cybercrime Group, 
operated between 2001 and 2007 and trafficked in at least 95,000 known 
stolen credit card numbers, including some belonging to victims in New 
York, where the case is being prosecuted by the Manhattan District 

The five named in an indictment unsealed this week include Vasilyev 
Viatcheslav, 33, and Vladimir Kramarenko, 31, of Czechoslovakia, who 
were arrested in Prague in July 2008 and only extradited to the U.S. 
last week; Egor Shevelev, 23, a Ukrainian arrested last year during a 
vacation in Greece and awaiting extradition; Oleg Kovelin, 28, from 
Moldova (spelled "Covlin" in some documents); and Dzimitry Burak, 26, a 
Belorussian who was last living in Ukraine. The latter two have not yet 
been apprehended. A sixth defendant has not been named yet.

The five men named this week allegedly worked in concert with 17 other 
defendants who were previously charged with a 173-count indictment in 
November 2007, along with a New York-based company called Western 
Express International Inc., which authorities allege was used to 
coordinate and facilitate the illegal activities and launder the ring's 
ill-gotten gains. Of those 17 defendants, 14 have been arrested. Five 
pleaded guilty.

The new defendants have been charged with enterprise corruption, a 
felony, which is punishable by up to 25 years in prison; two counts of 
scheming to defraud, also a felony, which is punishable by up to four 
years in prison; and one count of conspiracy, a misdemeanor, which is 
punishable by up to a year in jail. Three of the defendants have been 
indicted on additional charges, including grand larceny, criminal 
possession of stolen goods and money laundering.


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