Originally born in Russia, a 29-year-old man residing in Los Angeles, California, gets over nine years in jail. Alexander Tverdokhlebov has been sentenced for operating botnets of 500,000 computers as well as trafficking thousands of stolen credit card numbers.
After immigrating to the United States in 2007, Tverdokhlebov went through naturalization process and became a U.S. citizen. Part of his family resides in Russia up to date. In 2009, the man married an American citizen, filling for divorce shortly after. However, Tverdokhlebov does have another relationship with a Russian woman currently based in the U.S.
Unfortunate fate of the Russian emigrant
Following his arrest in February, the man pleaded guilty to wire fraud on March 31. On Monday, the cybercriminal was sentenced to 110 months of jail time.
Court documents mention that Tverdokhlebov actively participated in a number of Russian-speaking cybercriminal forums. The year of 2008 marks the beginning of his criminal activity, which included stealing and selling sensitive financial information, money laundering, and exchanging malicious tools.
Moreover, Tverdokhlebov had numerous botnets – a network of compromised personal computers – under his control. During some period of time stretching from 2009 to 2013, Tverdokhlebov repeatedly claimed that he possessed “40,000 stolen credit card numbers and could control up to 500,000 infected computers.”
Federal authorities seized around $272,000 in cash and $5 million in Bitcoin from Tverdokhlebov. As prosecutors stated, at least 100 people fell victim to his criminal activities. The man went after confidential financial information, which resulted in approximately $9.5 Million to $25 Million of total losses.
Besides nine years in prison, Tverdokhlebov will be additionally serving three years of supervised release. The Department of Justice mentioned: “As part of the sentencing, the court also ordered the defendant to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term, with conditions of release that will include monitoring of the defendant’s computer use.”