A RUSSIAN MAN has been sentenced to three years' porridge for participating in international cyber crimes.
Vladimir Zdorovenin, 55, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by US District Court Judge Paul Gardephe.
He had pleaded guilty in February last year on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He was accused of gathering stolen credit card information from a range of phony websites, malware and information stealing software.
"From his perch halfway across the globe, Vladimir Zdorovenin engaged in a slew of cyber crimes that left multiple victims in the United States," said Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
"Cybercrime is particularly insidious because there is no need for geographic proximity between perpetrators and their victims, and Zdorovenin's sentence today should serve as a reminder to others that law enforcement does not require geographic proximity to prosecute these crimes either."
Zdorovenin also siphoned money from bank accounts directly, putting his winnings into his own accounts in Russia and Latvia. As well as his prison term he will have to pay back $1m as well as an undetermined amount of restitution that will be set within 90 days. Zdorovenin's son, Kirill Zdorovenin, is named as co-conspirator and remains at large.
Zdorovenin has been jailed in the US for almost two years, so he has served almost two thirds of his sentence. In December Razvan Marc was sentenced to almost twice as long, 60 months, for taking money for non-existent big ticket goods like cars through websites including eBay.
Sentencing for cybercrime offences varies greatly of course, and Gary McKinnon was facing decades in prison for visiting NASA, while Gareth Crosskey, 21, of Lancing, West Sussex, was sent down for a year for taking over someone's Facebook account.
In March 2011 Brit Ashley Mitchell was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for pilfering £7 million worth of virtual poker chips, while in the US hacker Andrew Auernheimer faces as much as five years in prison for impersonating an Ipad. µ