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Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
August 08, 2013

WESTERN EXPRESS CYBERCRIMINALS CONVICTED AT TRIAL SENTENCED TO SIGNIFICANT STATE PRISON TIME

Douglas Latta Sentenced to 22-to-44 Years in State Prison Today

In All, 15 Defendants Convicted of Trafficking Nearly 100,000 Stolen Credit Card Numbers, Stealing More Than $5 Million in International Cyber Fraud Scheme

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the results of the eight-year-long investigation and prosecution of a cybercrime ring that extended from Ukraine to Brooklyn, whose members were convicted of trafficking more than 95,000 stolen credit card numbers, resulting in more than $5 million in credit card fraud. Eleven members of the cybercrime ring and one corporate defendant pleaded guilty to charges including Money Laundering, Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Scheme to Defraud, and Conspiracy for their role in the global trafficking ring.

On June 13, 2013, following a ten-week trial in New York State Supreme Court, a jury found three other defendants, EGOR SHEVELEV, a/k/a “Eskalibur” a/k/a "Esk,” 27, DOUGLAS LATTA, a/k/a “Realbusy,” 40, and ANNA CIANO, a/k/a “Angela Perez,” 41, guilty of all counts of the indictment against them, including Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Scheme to Defraud, and Conspiracy. On July 23, 2013, CIANO was sentenced to 19 2/3-to-47 years in state prison; two days later, SHEVELEV was sentenced to 13 1/3-to-40 years in state prison. LATTA, who was sentenced today to 22-to-44 years in state prison, was the final member of the cybercrime ring to be sentenced.

“The number of cyber fraud cases has skyrocketed in recent years, creating a whole new class of victims and resulting in millions of dollars of fraud, at levels law enforcement has never seen before,” said District Attorney Vance. “More than 95,000 credit card holders had their personal information stolen by this cybercrime ring, which crisscrossed the globe from Russia to the Czech Republic to California to Brooklyn. It was a highly profitable scheme that netted the principals millions of dollars. I am pleased that these defendants have been sentenced to prison sentences appropriate to the scope and breadth of their misconduct. It is my hope that this case will serve as a deterrent to any would-be cybercriminals operating overseas, and anyone who mistakenly believes that he or she is beyond the reach of state prosecutors.”

As proven at trial, SHEVELEV was one of the premier vendors of stolen credit card data in the world. Operating out of his apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, SHEVELEV used multiple Internet forums devoted to cybercrime to advertise that he had “millions” of stolen credit card account numbers for sale. Evidence submitted at trial – including testimony from 50 witnesses – proved that SHEVELEV sold more than 75,000 of the 95,000 total credit card account numbers, which were used to commit more than $4 million of the total $5 million-plus in fraud. SHEVELEV was paid millions for these stolen account numbers, mostly in the form of digital currencies Egold and Webmoney.  He laundered more than $600,000 of his Egold criminal profits through co-defendant VADIM VASSILENKO and WESTERN EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL, INC.  The United States does not have an extradition treaty with Ukraine, but, in May 2008, SHEVELEV was apprehended in Rhodes, Greece, where he had been vacationing. He was ultimately extradited to New York County to face charges.

Additionally proven at trial, LATTA and CIANO, a couple who lived and worked together in Brooklyn, New York, purchased more than 800 stolen credit card numbers from SHEVELEV and others between approximately 2004 and 2007. Longtime partners with children in common, LATTA and CIANO also purchased templates with which they could forge credit cards, in addition to “full infos,” or complete personal profiles that include a victim’s name, birthdate, Social Security number, online usernames and passwords, and other personal information.  They used the stolen information to create forged identifications and credit cards at their residence, and also purchased expensive merchandise, including laptop computers, Apple products, designer handbags, video game consoles, and so on, using the victims’ stolen identities. LATTA and CIANO then fenced this stolen merchandise, and the evidence at trial proved that they fenced more than $100,000 worth of merchandise through an eBay account. LATTA and CIANO purchased the personal identifying information through the Internet using Egold and Webmoney digital currency obtained from VASSILENKO and his WESTERN EXPRESS.

Each member of the cybercrime ring charged in the 172-count indictment used the services of VASSILENKO and his company to exchange their money for digital currency for the purpose of furthering their cybercrime and identity theft activities. On February 11, 2013, VASSILENKO and WESTERN EXPRESS pleaded guilty to all of the counts against them: Money Laundering in the First, Second, and Fourth Degrees, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree.

As part of this investigation, WESTERN EXPRESS customers and identity thieves located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey, Louisiana, California, and Oregon, were indicted, apprehended, and pleaded guilty.  Two defendants – VIATCHESLAV VASILYEV, a/k/a “TheViver,” 37, a Russian national, and VLADIMIR KRAMARENKO, a/k/a “Envisor,” 35, a Moldovan national – who engaged in a sophisticated scheme that used stolen credit card numbers to purchase merchandise on the Internet, were apprehended in the Czech Republic, eventually extradited, and ultimately pleaded guilty.  Two indicted defendants – OLEG KOVELIN, a/k/a “Oleg Covelin,” a/k/a “DoZ,” 32, and DZMITRY BURAK, a/k/a “Graph,” 30, remain fugitives. 

Assistant District Attorney John Bandler prosecuted this case with assistance from Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Roper, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Glickman, Deputy Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau; Brenda Fischer, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Michael Wigdor, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigation Bureau, assisted with the case, as did Cybercrime Analyst Stephen Moccia, Senior Cybercrime Analysts Bret Rubin and Jeremy Apple, and Principal Accountant Investigator Michael Vecchio of District Attorney’s Financial Crimes Bureau. Assistant District Attorney Madeleine Guilmain handled the asset forfeiture aspect of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Duncan Levin, Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

District Attorney Vance thanked Special Agent-in-Charge Steven Hughes of the United States Secret Service’s New York Field Office, agents of the New York/New Jersey Electronic Crimes Task Force, and Secret Service agents around the United States and the world who conducted the investigation and coordinated international law enforcement activities. District Attorney Vance also thanked the United States Department of Justice Office of International Affairs for their assistance in extraditing defendants and obtaining records from foreign countries.

 

Information for Defendants Convicted at Trial:

EGOR SHEVELEV, a/k/a “Eskalibur” a/k/a "Esk,” D.O.B. 2/25/1986
Kiev, Ukraine

Convicted:

  • Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 3 counts
  • Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 30 counts
  • Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 19 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 13 1/3-to-40 years state prison

DOUGLAS LATTA, a/k/a “Realbusy,” D.O.B. 6/28/1973
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 4 counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
  • Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 8 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 22-to-44 years state prison

ANNA CIANO, a/k/a “Angela Perez,” D.O.B. 1/15/1972
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 4 counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 8 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 19 2/3-to-47 years state prison

Information for Defendants Convicted Through Pleas of Guilt:

WESTERN EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL, INC.
New York, NY

Convicted:

Money Laundering in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts

  • Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 10 counts
  • Money Laundering in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • Conditional Discharge

VADIM VASSILENKO, D.O.B. 11/19/1966
Fort Lee, NJ

Convicted:

  • Money Laundering in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts
  • Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 10 counts
  • Money Laundering in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 3 1/3 to 10 years in state prison

YELENA BARYSHEVA, D.O.B. 4/23/1965
Fort Lee, NJ

Convicted:

  • Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Money Laundering in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts
  • Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 10 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Money Laundering in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  •  Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 1-to-3 years state prison

VIATCHESLAV VASILYEV, a/k/a “TheViver,” D.O.B. 5/13/1976
[Russian citizen residing in Czech Republic when apprehended]

Convicted:

  • Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 21 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 3 1/3-to-10 years in state prison

VLADIMIR KRAMARENKO, a/k/a “Envisor,” D.O.B. 9/21/1977
[Moldovan citizen residing in Czech Republic when apprehended]

Convicted:

  • Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 13 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 3 1/3-to-10 years in state prison

KOSTAS KAPSIS, D.O.B. 8/5/1965

Maspeth, NY

Convicted:

  • Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 1 1/3-to-4 years state prison

LYNDON ROACH, D.O.B. 4/26/1970
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
  • Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 4 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 1-to-3 years state prison

JERMAINE VANN, D.O.B. 8/12/1973
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
  • Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 6 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 2-to-4 years state prison

KEITH CUMMINGS, D.O.B. 1/17/1963
Los Angeles, CA

Convicted:

  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 2 counts
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 32 counts
  • Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 3 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 3-to-9 years state prison

JOHN WASHINGTON, D.O.B. 3/31/1971
Louisiana and Maryland

Convicted:

  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 3 counts
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 10 counts
  • Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 3 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 1 1/3-to-4 years state prison

EDUARD KHOLSTININ, D.O.B. 4/24/1977
[Russian citizen who resided in Oregon and California]

Convicted: 

  • Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 3 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 1 2/3 years-to-5 years state prison

OLEKSIY YARNE, D.O.B. 8/21/1976
[Russian citizen who resided in Los Angeles, California]

Convicted:

  • Enterprise Corruption, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 1 ½-to- 4 ½ years state prison

Information for Unapprehended Defendants:

DZMITRY BURAK, a/k/a “Graph,” a/k/a “Leon Kurochkin,” D.O.B. 11/13/1982
[Belarusian citizen, with ties to Ukraine]

Charges:

  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 2 counts
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
  • Money Laundering in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 2 counts
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 15 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a Class E felony, 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in Fifth Degree, a Class A misdemeanor, 1 count

OLEG COVELIN, a/k/a “DoZ,” D.O.B. 9/18/80
[Moldovan citizen; Last known address in Moldova]

Charges:

  • Money Laundering in the Second Degree, a Class C felony, 2 counts
  • Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a Class E felony , 2 counts
  • Conspiracy in Fifth Degree, a Class A misdemeanor, 1 count