Russian Brothers Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Running Massive Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud Factory from their Fort Lauderdale Residence
Igor Grushko, 33, and Denis Grushko, 29, Russian nationals who were residing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida were sentenced yesterday to 145 months in prison, after having been previously convicted by a South Florida federal jury of aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to possess and use stolen credit cards, production of fraudulent credit cards, and production of counterfeit identification documents.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s (USSS) Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
According to the trial record, brothers Igor and Denis Grushko were running a sophisticated credit card fraud factory out of their Fort Lauderdale residence. When USSS agents executed a search warrant at their home, law enforcement discovered rubber molds and plastic resin which the Grushkos used to manufacture their own credit card skimming devices; dozens of skimming devices, ATM overlays, pinhole cameras, and similar devices used to steal credit and debit card information; a credit card embosser, encoder, and magnetic stripe reader used to create counterfeit cards; sheets of Maryland state identification holograms and an identification card printer which was used to create fake identification cards (ID’s); hundreds of fraudulent credit cards and fake ID’s; and thousands of unauthorized credit and debit card numbers on the Grushkos’ computers.
Law enforcement also discovered several tutorials appearing to instruct the Grushko brothers how to commit identity theft and credit card fraud. For example, one document in their possession read, “What is carding? Well, carding is the art of credit card fraud. The motive is usually tied to money. Handling a $9,000 plasma TV knowing that you didn’t pay one cent for it is definitely a rush. But real carders seem to card for something more. The rush that the federalles could bust down your door at any minute? The defiance of knowing that every day that you are walking among the public is another day that you have gotten away with a federal crime?”
Evidence at trial further established that the Grushko brothers conspired with Vadym Vozniuk to use the personal identifying information of hundreds of unsuspecting victims across South Florida, including victims’ credit card numbers, names, addresses, and phone numbers, to fraudulently obtain over $100,000 in high-end electronics from local Target retail stores.
Vozniuk, 24, a Ukrainian national who was also residing in Fort Lauderdale, was sentenced to 27 months in prison, after having been convicted at trial of conspiracy to possess and use stolen credit cards. The three defendants were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith in Fort Lauderdale (Case No. 18cr20859).
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the USSS’s Miami Field Office in this matter. She also thanked Target’s Special Investigations team for their assistance. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael B. Homer, Kiran Bhat, and Jonathan Stratton.