Aleksandr Maslov, 40, of Sacramento, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez to 24 years and four months in prison for his involvement in an international credit card fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.
According to evidence presented in the trials of his co-defendants and in court documents, between October 5, 2011 and approximately March 5, 2014, Maslov conspired with Rouslan Kirilyuk, 43, of Los Angeles; Mihran Melkonyan, 41, of Sacramento; Rouslan Akhmerov, 46, of Studio City; and others in a massive credit card billing scheme that involved working with Moscow-based hackers to create approximately 71 fraudulent online companies established for the sole purpose of fraudulently charging approximately 119,000 stolen credit card numbers . In total, members of the scheme charged stolen credit card numbers for more than $3.4 million in unauthorized charges.
To create the fraudulent businesses, members of the scheme obtained more than 200 stolen school reports from the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento. These report cards included the students’ personal identifying information, including names and social security numbers. Using this personal identity information, Kirilyuk and his associates created fraudulent companies with names designed to look like real companies, such as “CVS Store”, “Walt Mart”, and “Chevran”.
Working with at least one Moscow-based hacker, Maslov and his conspirators used these fraudulent companies to charge stolen American Express credit card account numbers. To transfer the stolen money, they used fictitious bank accounts held in the names of individuals whose identities had been stolen and accounts in the names of former Russian J-1 student visa holders who had returned. in Russia after opening several bank accounts in California.
Conspiracy members also used numerous Los Angeles-area runners to withdraw money in the form of cash. The conspirators then sent some of the stolen money back to Moscow, using prepaid debit cards and hiding money inside mailed items. According to court documents, Maslov’s co-defendant, Kirilyuk, has a history of corporate cyber intrusion dating back to at least 2003.
Maslov, Kirilyuk and Melkonyan all fled to avoid prosecution. Kirilyuk was apprehended in Mexico and arrested by FBI agents after being airlifted to San Francisco. Melkonyan was apprehended in California after returning to the United States. Maslov was apprehended in Virginia.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sacramento Field Division with assistance from the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Anderson and Heiko P. Coppola prosecuted the case.
During his trial on February 15, 2017, Melkonyan was found guilty of 24 counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud in connection with the scheme. He was sentenced on January 4, 2019 to 19 years and two months in prison.
At trial on February 26, 2019, Kirilyuk was found guilty of 24 counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of failure to appear. He was sentenced on December 6, 2019 to 27 years in prison.
On December 15, 2014, Akhmerov pleaded guilty to one count of access device fraud for his participation in the scheme and was sentenced to jail.