Los Angeles Man Found Guilty on All Counts in Nationwide Credit Card Fraud Scheme with Links to Sacramento and Moscow
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a four-day trial, a jury found Ruslan Kirilyuk, 41, of Beverly Hills, guilty on Tuesday of 24 counts of wire fraud, two counts of mail fraud, and one count each of aggravated identity theft and failure to appear, all arising out of his involvement in a nationwide credit card fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to evidence presented at trial, between approximately October 5, 2011, and March 5, 2014, Kirilyuk conspired with Mihran Melkonyan, 38, of Sacramento; Rouslan Akhmerov, 42, of Studio City; Alexandr Maslov, 38, of Sacramento, and others in a credit card billing scheme that involved creating approximately 71 fraudulent online companies established with the sole purpose of fraudulently charging approximately 119,000 stolen credit card numbers. In total, the members of the scheme billed the stolen credit card numbers for over $3.4 million in unauthorized charges.
As established at trial, to create the fraudulent companies, the members of the scheme obtained over 200 stolen report cards from the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento. Those report cards had students’ personal identifying information on them such as names and social security numbers. Using that information, Kirilyuk and his associates created fraudulent companies with names designed to sound like real companies, such as “CVS Store,” “Walt Mart,” and “Chevran.”
Working with a hacker based in Moscow, they used those fraudulent companies to charge stolen American Express credit card account numbers. In order to transfer the stolen money, they used shell bank accounts held in the names of individuals whose identities had been stolen and former Russian J-1 visa holders. According to court documents, Kirilyuk has a history of corporate cyberintrusion dating back to at least 2003.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Anderson and Matthew M. Yelovich are prosecuting the case.
Kirilyuk is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on May 17, 2019. Kirilyuk faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each wire and mail fraud count, a mandatory two-year consecutive sentence for the aggravated identity theft count, and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the failure to appear charge. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
In an earlier trial, on February 15, 2017, Melkonyan was found guilty of all 24 counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud charged against him related to the scheme. He was sentenced on January 4, 2019, to 19 years and two months in prison.
On December 15, 2014, Akhmerov pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud for his participation in the scheme. He is set to be sentenced on March 29, 2019.
Maslov failed to appear at an earlier court appearance and a bench warrant has been issued for his arrest. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at (916) 746-7000. The charges against him are only allegations; he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.