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Press Release

Russian National Known as “Joga” Pleads Guilty to Online Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Russian man known by the online nickname “Joga,” pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston to participating in a scheme to acquire more than $400,000 in consumer goods and stored value cards using stolen credit and debit card information.

Alexey Svetlichnyy, 32, a Russian citizen living in Tewksbury, Mass., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of wire fraud conspiracy.  U.S. District Court Judge Allison Dale Burroughs scheduled sentencing for June 3, 2015.  Svetlichnyy was charged by complaint in May 2014.

As alleged in the charging document, Svetlichnyy, and others, obtained stolen credit and debit card data and related accountholder information over online forums dedicated to trafficking in stolen information, including Carder Planet, Vendorsname, and Direct Connect.

Svetlichnyy, and his co-conspirators, used the stolen data to make online purchases of numerous goods, including, Apple iPads, Samsung cell phones, laptop computers, servers, computer processors, scuba diving equipment, high-end camera lenses, and water filtration equipment.  They also used the stolen data to make online purchases of stored value cards issued by or on behalf of American Express, Visa, Budget Rental Car, Frontier Airlines, Macy’s, and other retailers.

When making these online purchases, Svetlichnyy, and others, frequently used the names and billing addresses associated with the stolen data, but then shipped the goods and cards to addresses that Svetlichnyy controlled.

Svetlichnyy, and others, advertised over Russian language social networks to recruit individuals to receive the stolen consumer goods and stored value cards.  Svetlichnyy, and others, paid the individuals to re-ship the items to addresses in Chelmsford and North Reading, Mass., among other places, where Svetlichnyy had opened private commercial mailboxes in the name of a Delaware company, Micaxr, LLC (Micaxr). 

From March 2010 to October 2013, Svetlichnyy sold the stolen consumer goods and stored value cards for more than $427,000 on eBay.  Svetlichnyy, and others, wired a portion of the criminal proceeds overseas, including to Russian bank accounts.

The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and restitution.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Lisa A. Quinn, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.  Ortiz also thanked the U.S. Secret Service’s Cyber Investigative Section, and the Tewksbury and Hickory Hill, Illinois, Police Departments for their involvement in the investigation that led to today’s plea.  The case is being prosecuted by Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit and Eric Christofferson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

Updated March 9, 2015