WASHINGTON, November 21 (RIA Novosti) – A Miami man has pleaded guilty to participating in a Russian cybercrime syndicate that US federal prosecutors allege caused losses in excess of $50.5 million to individuals and financial organizations worldwide, a Las Vegas newspaper reported.
Alexander Kostyukov, 29, admitted that he was a member of the “Carder.su” syndicate in federal court in Las Vegas on Monday, the day his trial was scheduled to begin, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
The Miami resident pleaded guilty to charges including participating in a racketeering organization, conspiracy, as well as the trafficking in and production of false identification documents.
Kostyukov’s lawyer Todd Leventhal said his client “took responsibility for his role in this, but he strongly disagrees with the government’s assessment of the losses,” the Las Vegas Review Journal reported Monday.
US federal prosecutors allege that the Carder.su cybercrime ring had more than 7,800 members who traded in forged documents, stolen identities and bank account information on a series of Russian websites.
Last year, following a four-and-a-half year investigation, the US attorney’s office in Nevada obtained indictments charging 55 alleged members and associates of the ring.
The indictments marked the first time US federal prosecutors have used racketeering statutes to pursue a cybercrime organization – although many of the defendants, including Carder.su’s alleged Russian leaders, remain at large, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
Kostyukov is scheduled for sentencing March 27. His co-defendant, David Camez of Phoenix, is now on trial alone.