Russian Hacker Extradited From Israel to U.S. Sentenced to Nine Years for Credit Card Fraud

A U.S. federal district court sentenced Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov to nine years in prison Friday, following his extradition from Israel to the United States in November.

As part of a plea deal, Burkov pleaded guilty to two of the five charges against him for credit card fraud. According to the original indictment, Burkov could have served up to 80 years in prison.

Before Burkov’s extradition, Russia attempted to pressure Israel into a deal in exchange for freeing Naama Issachar, an Israeli citizen who was imprisoned in Russia last year after a small amount of hashish was found in her luggage during a layover at the Moscow airport.

Israel refused to release Burkov in exchange for Issachar; the United States had requested his extradition, which the Israeli High Court of Justice had already approved. Issachar was sentenced to seven and a half years by a Russian court on drug smuggling charges, but was freed in January after about 10 months.

Burkov pleaded guilty to running a website called Cardplanet that sold stolen credit-card numbers for anywhere from $3 to $60. According to U.S. court estimates, Burkov preyed on hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens; the credit card information was used to make about $20 million in fraudulent purchases. He also admitted to running a second website, which sold personal information to cyber criminals.

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