Faces 37+ years in prison
By Dan Goodin in San Francisco Get more from this author
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A Belarusian man has copped to a charge that he ran a website which helped thousands of criminals commit identity theft by exploiting stolen financial information.
Dmitry M. Naskovets, 26, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and credit card fraud on Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. He faces a maximum penalty of 37 and a half years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled for May 26, federal prosecutors said.
Naskovets advertised the services of Callservice.biz on underground forums frequented by identity thieves. The service counteracted security measures put in place by banks and other financial institutions which require account holders to verbally verify certain types of requests, such as transfers and withdrawals.
Fraudsters who wanted to liquidate the account of a female based in the US could use the website to arrange to have an English-speaking woman call the bank and pose as the victim.
Ads hawking the service claimed Callservice.biz had served more than 2,090 individuals with more than 5,400 confirmation calls.
The conviction is a major coup for federal prosecutors trying to crack down on internet-based fraud that originates overseas. Naskovets was arrested by Czech authorities and extradited to the US in April. At the same time, Sergey Semasko, a Belarusian national who allegedly helped run the site, was arrested in Belarus, where he faces charges. Belarusian authorities have arrested additional co-conspirators for related criminal conduct.