Russian Citizen Pleads Guilty to Cyber Tax Fraud Scheme That Resulted in More Than $1.5 Million in Losses to Department of the Treasury
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Anton P. Bogdanov, a citizen of Russia, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon to wire fraud conspiracy and computer intrusion in connection with a scheme in which he and others used stolen personal information to file federal tax returns and fraudulently obtain more than $1.5 million in tax refunds from the Department of the Treasury. When sentenced, Bogdanov faces up to 20 years in prison.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI), announced the guilty plea.
“Cyber criminals operating from halfway around the world might think they are beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement, but they are mistaken – just ask Anton P. Bogdanov. This Office and our law enforcement partners will use all necessary resources to combat sophisticated computer hacking and identity theft,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. Mr. Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation the New York County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance with the case.
“Combating cyber-attacks is one of IRS-CI’s top priorities especially when our taxpayers are victimized,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Larsen. “Mr. Bogdanov used sophisticated means to enrich himself, and we will always be at the ready to tackle these global fraud schemes.”
According to court filings, between June 2014 and November 2016, Bogdanov and his co-conspirators misappropriated personally identifiable information (“PII”), such as Social Security numbers and dates of birth of identity theft victims by gaining unauthorized access to the computer systems of private tax preparation firms in the United States. He and his co-conspirators then changed the tax return information so that the refunds were paid to prepaid debit cards that they controlled. Bogdanov and his co-conspirators were able to gain access to these systems by exploiting a vulnerability in a remote access program used by the tax preparation firms’ employees to log in from home and while traveling. Bogdanov also used misappropriated PII to obtain prior tax filings of victims from the IRS Transcript System website, and filed new tax returns, purportedly on behalf of the victims, so that refunds were paid to prepaid debit cards he and his co-conspirators controlled. The debit cards were cashed out in the United States, and a percentage of the proceeds was wired to Bogdanov in Russia.
Bogdanov was arrested in Thailand in November 2018 and extradited to the United States in March 2019.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael T. Keilty and Jonathan E. Algor are in charge of the prosecution.
ANTON P. BOGDANOV (also known as “Kusok”)
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-197 (MKB)
United States Attorney’s Office
Updated May 28, 2020