A Ukrainian national who pleaded guilty in 2009 to creating a popular online marketplace for selling stolen financial account data has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, the Department of Justice said Thursday.
Called one of the world’s “most prolific cybercriminals” by the Department of Justice, Roman Vega, 49, will serve significant time in prison for his role in co-founding the notorious website CarderPlanet.
Also known online as "Boa," "Roman Stepanenko" and "Randy Riolta," Vega was originally arrested in Cyprus in February 2003 and extradited to the United States. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to conspiracies to commit money laundering and access device fraud and has been held in jail since.
"Vega helped create one of the largest and most sophisticated credit card fraud sites in the cybercrime underworld -- a distinction that has earned him the substantial sentence he received today," said acting assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman.
According to court documents, Vega also founded the Boa Factory in the late 1990s, another underground marketplace selling stolen credit card data.
In the early 2000s, he co-founded and became a high-ranking administrator of CarderPlanet, which became one of the first and busiest online marketplaces for the sale of stolen financial information, computer hacking services and money laundering, the Department of Justice said.
“At its height, CarderPlanet had more than 6,000 members and had a hierarchical leadership structure that borrowed its leadership titles from La Cosa Nostra,” US authorities said. “For example, CarderPlanet was headed by a “Godfather.” Immediately below the Godfather were a number of “Dons,” including the defendant, who used the name “Boa” when serving in this role. Three levels below the Dons was the “Consigliere,” who was an advisor. Vega, using the name “RioRita,” also served as the Consigliere.”
Earlier this year, Vladislav Anatolievich Horohori, also known as “BadB”, was sentenced to 88 months in prison for his connections to CarderPlanet.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.