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NEW YORK, January 5 (Itar-Tass) — The US District Court for the Southern District of New York convicted Friday Russian citizen Vladimir Zdorovenin, whom the US authorities accused of cybercrimes, the stealing of the personal data and illegal transactions with the securities. Judge Paul Gardephe, who is presiding at the trial, sentenced Zdorovenin to three years in prison.
In January 2012, Zdorovenin, 55, was extradited to New York from Switzerland, where he was detained in March 2011. Thus, Zdorovenin will serve no more than two years in prison, after that he will be immediately deported to Russia.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, Zdorovenin and his son Kirill have been stealing the personal data of the credit cards of the US citizens through the shell companies that resulted in several hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages. Meanwhile, they got the illegal access to the discretionary accounts of the US citizens and misused the stock exchange rates at the stock market to get the illegal income. The current whereabouts of Kirill Zdorovenin are unclear.
In February 2012, Vladimir Zdorovenin pleaded guilty on two out of nine accusations brought against him. The prosecutor demanded 4-5 years in prison for the Russian offender. The lawyer asked to sentence him to no more than two years in prison, taking into account his age, as well as the fact, that he did not violated the law before and confessed in the crime.
The judge noted that in the guilty verdict he took into account the fact that Zdorovenin did not ever breach the law before, did not have any material gains from the crimes and was not involved in the technical issues of the crime. Meanwhile, according to Judge Gardephe, Zdorovenin knew about the criminal intents of his son and did not hamper him to commit the crime. The judge stated that he will request for the Russian citizen to serve the sentence in New York.
According to the indictment, staying in Moscow, the Zdorovenins registered several companies in the United States and opened their accounts in the banks JP Morgan Chase and Asia Europe America’s Bank. These companies offered at their websites the products, for which the buyers paid with the credit cards. Vladimir Zdorovenin was also controlling one more company, which had an account in the major broker’s firm Ameritrade, through which the shares were put on sale at the stock exchange.
The US attorneys affirmed that in the fraudulent scheme the Zdorovenins have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from the US citizens. The payments, which were made illegally through the credit cards with their holders not notified about it, were transferred to the accounts of the companies, which the Russian criminals were controlling. According to the US prosecutors, the Russian fraudsters have bought the numbers of these credit cards from the criminals, who had acquired them illegally, as well as they cracked them through the special software, which was secretly installed on the computers of their victims, and stole the confidential information.
The US Attorney’s Office noted that Kirill Zdorovenin was involved in the technical aspects of the fraudulent scheme, while Vladimir was in charge of its general supervision and the legalization of the stolen funds. Zdorovenin the Sr. was traced down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in June 2004, when he was allegedly seeking to drag a secret FBI informant in the foresaid criminal scheme at their meeting in Cyprus.
Well-known lawyer Sabrina Shroff, who defends Zdorovenin gratis and who was the first lawyer of Russian citizen Viktor Bout, who is serving the sentence in the United States for a conspiracy that was targeted at the weapons smuggling to the Colombian rebels.
Shroff was trying to convince the court that Vladimir Zdorovenin is a puppet of his son, just fulfilling his instructions, and subsequently cannot shoulder the full responsibility for the crimes, which his son committed. According to the lawyer, Zdorovenin wanted to restore the relations with his son that were spoiled after the divorce with his mother. Meanwhile, the attorney insisted that Zdorovenin the Sr. were aware of Kirill’s illegal transactions and, however, were involved actively in the fraudulent scheme. According to Attorney James Pastore, the recordings of the talks between Vladimir Zdorovenin and the FBI mole in Cyprus prove the foresaid offence.
Vladimir Zdorovenin is geologist by education. Apart from Kirill, he has a son from the first marriage and a 5-year-old son from the second marriage.