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Press Release

Russian National Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Online Wire Fraud Scheme

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

BOSTON – A Russian man known by the online nickname “Joga” was sentenced today for his role in an online fraud scheme that used stolen credit and debit card information to acquire more than $650,000 in consumer goods.

Alexey Svetlichnyy, 32, a Russian citizen living in Tewksbury, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 24 months in prison.  Additionally, Svetlichnyy was ordered to forfeit more than $425,000 in United States currency, along with a Lexus and other high-end consumer goods he obtained through the scheme.  In March 2015, Svetlichnyy pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud

According to court documents, Svetlichnyy and others obtained stolen credit and debit card data and related accountholder information using online forums dedicated to the trafficking of stolen information.

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, along with his co-conspirators, frequently used the names and billing addresses associated with the stolen data, but then shipped the goods and stored value cards to addresses that Svetlichnyy controlled.

To avoid detection, Svetlichnyy and his co-conspirators utilized Russian language social networks to recruit accomplices, who were paid to receive these stolen consumer goods and re-ship the items to addresses controlled by Svetlichnyy in Chelmsford and North Reading, Mass., among other places.  These addresses were primarily private commercial mailboxes that Svetlichnyy opened 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 his co-conspirators then wired a portion of the criminal proceeds overseas, including to Russian bank accounts.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Lisa 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.  Ortiz also thanked the U.S. Secret Service’s Cyber Investigative Section and the Tewksbury Police Department for their involvement in the investigation that led to today’s sentencing.

The case was prosecuted by Seth B. Kosto of Ortiz’s Cybercrime Unit and Eric Christofferson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

Updated July 16, 2015