Estonian national, Aleksandr Suvorov, was sentenced to seven years for his part in stealing thousands of credit card records by hacking into the Islandia’s Dave & Buster’s computerized system. This alleged crime, as well as trafficking in unauthorized access devices charge, resulted in his arrest and subsequent sentencing. Arkady Bukh, his attorney, said that his client was not guilty of the charges, claiming that others used the screen name “JonnyHell” on the Internet, but it was not his client.
Mr. Suvorov was arrested in Germany and was extradited to the United States to stand trial, where he was held without bail for 5-1/2 years. Co-defendants, Maksym Yastremskiy of Ukraine and Albert Gonzales of Florida, were found guilty of the crime as well and were sentenced to 30 and 20 years respectively. It is charged that the hack was done using a piece of eavesdropping software, called a packet sniffer, to capture the information during the transfer between the restaurant and the Ben & Jerry’s corporate headquarters, located in Dallas.
Investigators stated that millions of credit card numbers were found on computers belonging to the men and that they were one of the largest identity theft rings ever found and prosecuted in the United States. They went on to say, “Today’s sentence sends a clear message that cyber criminals operating abroad will suffer severe consequences for their crimes.” An ocean is not too far for hackers to collect computer-collected information from United States citizens.
Suvorov, in conjunction with an accomplice, conspired to sell over 150,000 credit card numbers to a San Diego buyer, which was also a U.S. Secret Service undercover agent. Mr. Suvorov allegedly gave the numbers to the accomplice who, in turn, sold them to the agent.
Arkady Bukh, of the international law firm, Bukh Law Firm, PLLC, maintains his client’s innocence, stating that Mr. Suvorov was an unwitting victim of entrapment by co-defendant, Albert Gonzales. Mr. Gonzales was an informant to federal officials after an arrest in 2003, but was still practicing his illegal trade, which Mr. Suvorov was allegedly part of.