Feb. 25--Using the online nickname "Eskalibur," he became one of the world's top salesmen of stolen credit card numbers in a cyberfraud that crisscrossed the globe from Ukraine to South Florida and New York.
On Monday, Egor Shevelev admitted trafficking more than 118,000 stolen or fraudulent credit card numbers with an intended or potential loss of more than $59 million.
The U.S. Secret Service and federal prosecutors said the fraud involved crimes that were committed in Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Martin counties.
Shevelev, who turns 28 on Tuesday, admitted that he was one of the ringleaders of the fraud, which he operated from his apartment in Kiev.
Shevelev might have gotten away with his crimes here if he had stayed in Ukraine, which has no extradition treaty with the U.S. He was arrested while vacationing on the Greek island of Rhodes in 2008 and extradited to New York in 2010.
Last year, a state jury in New York found him guilty of selling more than 75,000 credit card account numbers online. Prosecutors there said he was the ringleader of an international cybercrime ring that sold the stolen credit card data online, resulting in more than $4 million worth of fraudulent transactions.
Shevelev, who was sentenced to serve a lengthy prison term in New York, was then transferred to Broward County to face related federal charges that were filed against him in South Florida in 2008.
Speaking through a Russian interpreter on Monday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Shevelev pleaded guilty to two counts of access device fraud, admitting that he trafficked in credit cards between 2007 and 2008.
He told U.S. District Judge William Zloch that he graduated with a college degree in economics but never had a job in his native country.
According to the indictment, Shevelev was paid for stolen credit card numbers and forged credit cards that were used to commit identity theft in South Florida.
Most of the payments for the stolen credit card information were sent by Western Union wire transfers from the U.S. and other countries to Kiev. Agents used search warrants to uncover emails -- linked to two email addresses that belonged to Shevelev -- that showed purchasers paid anything from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for the credit card numbers.
Shevelev faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison and massive fines when he is sentenced May 6. He will also be deported from the U.S. after serving his state and federal prison terms, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton said in court. Shevelev is already serving between 13 and 40 years for the state sentence and will likely serve the federal prison term at the same time.
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