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Crime The Almighty Buck The Internet

Cybercrime Marketplace Mastermind Faces 18 Years In Prison 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the doing-the-time dept.
wiredmikey writes "A Ukrainian national, Roman Vega, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to creating a popular online marketplace for selling stolen financial account data has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. Called one of the world's 'most prolific cybercriminals' by the Department of Justice, Vega, 49, will serve significant time in prison for his role in co-founding the notorious website CarderPlanet. In the early 2000s, Vega co-founded and became a high-ranking administrator of the notorious website, which became one of the first and busiest online marketplaces for the sale of stolen financial information, computer hacking services and money laundering. At its height, CarderPlanet had more than 6,000 members and had a hierarchical leadership structure that borrowed its leadership titles from La Cosa Nostra, US authorities said."
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Cybercrime Marketplace Mastermind Faces 18 Years In Prison

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  • by FlyHelicopters (1540845) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @06:54PM (#45675935)
    Frankly, considering the economic damage he did, the thousands (if not millions) of people he screwed over and caused pain and suffering to, the time wasted to clean up his mess...

    18 years is quite small, I'd have no problem with executing him. If people who commit crimes behind computer keyboards were actually punished more often, we might have less of it. As it is, the fraud and abuse online are really more like the wild west than the 21st century.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's just a shame only a few villains like this ever get prosecuted, while the ones who REALLY screw millions of people over on a daily basis get moved to even cushier new jobs instead after the people they screwed over bail them out.

    • by DavidClarkeHR (2769805) <.david.clarke. .at. .hrgeneralist.ca.> on Thursday December 12, 2013 @07:04PM (#45676013)

      Frankly, considering the economic damage he did, the thousands (if not millions) of people he screwed over and caused pain and suffering to, the time wasted to clean up his mess...

      18 years is quite small, I'd have no problem with executing him. If people who commit crimes behind computer keyboards were actually punished more often, we might have less of it. As it is, the fraud and abuse online are really more like the wild west than the 21st century.

      Economic damage is not a good way to assess penalties. Compare and contrast with Aaron Swartz, Jamie Thomas-Rasset, Kevin Mitnick ...

      No, this guy needs to go away because he was breaking the law - not because of how much he broke it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        No, this guy needs to go away because he was breaking the law - not because of how much he broke it.

        No, he needs to go away because he didn't give the government it's cut of the action. That's how Wall Street can trigger a decade-long economic recession and nobody goes to jail, but one guy running a website faces infinity years in the electric chair while being anally abused by goats.

        This has nothing to do with how little or much he broke the law -- it's about setting an example: Don't steal. The government hates competition.

        • That's how Wall Street can trigger a decade-long economic recession

          We're having a (half)-decade long recession because government responded to a recession by opening the floodgates of spending.

          Just like in the 1930s. That's how you turn a recession into a long-running malaise. We have historical experience with this.

      • by dj245 (732906) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @08:09PM (#45676361) Homepage

        Frankly, considering the economic damage he did, the thousands (if not millions) of people he screwed over and caused pain and suffering to, the time wasted to clean up his mess...

        18 years is quite small, I'd have no problem with executing him. If people who commit crimes behind computer keyboards were actually punished more often, we might have less of it. As it is, the fraud and abuse online are really more like the wild west than the 21st century.

        Economic damage is not a good way to assess penalties. Compare and contrast with Aaron Swartz, Jamie Thomas-Rasset, Kevin Mitnick ... No, this guy needs to go away because he was breaking the law - not because of how much he broke it.

        The parent poster is advocating a more severe sentence because of the total amount of suffering caused. If I punch someone in the face, that's assault, but the damage is limited to 1 person and is relatively minor. It is also in most cases not a permanent cause of pain and suffering. The punishment is light.

        If I intentionally and maliciously gave someone a papercut, that is assault too. But the amount of suffering is pretty low. In all likelihood you would have a tough time getting a court to hear your case even.

        But what if I ran around intentionally and maliciously giving people papercuts? What if I inflicted papercuts on millions of people? For each person, the damage is minor. In aggregate though, it is a lot of pain and suffering.

        Committing thousands or millions of small crimes used to be hard. Now with the internet and computers, it is easy. It seems like you are arguing that multiple counts of the same crime shouldn't stack. In cases where someone hacks 1 company 1000 times or using 100 different methods, maybe you have a point. Sometimes prosecuters go a little crazy. But multiple crimes should stack if there are multiple victims who all suffered.

        • by hazah (807503)

          Committing thousands or millions of small crimes used to be hard. Now with the internet and computers, it is easy. It seems like you are arguing that multiple counts of the same crime shouldn't stack.

          No. They should not. At least not proportionally. Because computers are the kind of tools that can amplify an event exponentially into oblivion, it makes no sense. Human lifetimes are finite, and we serve absolutely no-one by indulging ourselves in locking up non-violent criminals away for eternity. That idea i

          • If you don't like my idea, what is your solution?

            You can't fine the man enough money, he can't pay it. Even if you took all his current money and gave it to his victims, it would be pennies on the dollar.

            What then, a slap on the wrist? Heck, if I could figure out how to steal $10 million dollars in a non-violent way and you'd only want to send me to jail for 6 months, sign me up.

            Which of course is exactly why we don't do that, people would take that risk in huge numbers.

            I don't suggest locking him

            • Actually a very good major reform to the prison system would be

              1 turn most Juvie Halls into Boarding Schools (and limit the kids exposure to the Hard Cases)
              2 have most inmates WORK (give them a decent wage minus expenses of course)
              3 give inmates (not on the Jason Vorhees level) Good Behavior credit for taking education courses.
              4 if somebody earns N LIFE sentences then take measures to ensure he/she DOES NOT GET OUT
              5 in states with Capital Punishment ensure that said sentence is carried out BEFORE the Convic

            • by hazah (807503)
              How fucking convinent for you to dismiss someone's entire life based on a single action. Truth be told it's far simpler to shoot YOU in the head and move on, because it'll have far less publicity. If you're that quick to line them up, then I'd definately line you up right with them for your shitty attitude towards life, especially now that you've shown how little you think of it.
              • You're welcome to your opinion...

                Millions and millions of people go around all day, every day, and don't kill anyone. If someone goes out and murders someone in cold blood for no reason, then frankly we'd all be better off without them on Earth.

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            No. They should not. At least not proportionally. Because computers are the kind of tools that can amplify an event exponentially into oblivion, it makes no sense. Human lifetimes are finite, and we serve absolutely no-one by indulging ourselves in locking up non-violent criminals away for eternity. That idea is simply frightning from a civilized stand point.

            In other words, it's better to steal $1 from 1,000,000 people than to steal $1,000,000 from one person, because if you do the former with a computer, y

        • The parent poster is advocating a more severe sentence because of the total amount of suffering caused. If I punch someone in the face, that's assault, but the damage is limited to 1 person and is relatively minor. It is also in most cases not a permanent cause of pain and suffering. The punishment is light.

          This, exactly...

          If I go and punch one person, the crime is real, but not deserving of 18 years in prison. If I go around and punch 1,000 people, 10 every day, frankly I'm beyond help at that point and need to be put down like the rabid dog I would be... if I did such a thing.

          Someone who goes around and steals $100 each from 100,000 people is a sociopath, human garbage, there just isn't anything you can do for such a person, clearly they care nothing for the rules of society.

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          That really does make a lot of sense. Proportional rehabilitation based upon each crime committed and each crime as recorded against each victim. So the appropriate rehabilitation and isolation to prevent recurrence as suited to each individual criminal act. Then each act totalled and to be served concurrently with perhaps say a nominal 10% reduction in each consecutive sentence ie instead of 100% on the next 90% then 81% then 72.9% etc so no victim is ignored apart and ridiculous imprisonment periods exce

    • When we open a bank account, we place our trust to that bank, and that bank has the responsibility to protect our account with it.

      When we shop at a store with a credit card, we place our trust on the integrity of the store and also that of the credit card company (with the bank issuing that credit card).

      And if we do not lose our credit cards, but the information regarding our cards was stolen somewhere , who should we blame ?

      Do we blame the one who stole the information or the one who were so fucking carel

      • Yes, I find this quite strange case indeed. Roman Vega was arrested in 2003. He has been incarcerated in USA since then. He is a Ukrainian citizen. He was accused of credit card theft and had to wait TEN YEARS to get his conviction. Now, since he is a first timer, and his ten years in jail must be counted in - shouldn't he be freed immediately? He is not a terrorist and the pre-2003 systems his hackers were exploiting were literally stone-age systems without any double or triple verification procedures.

        Natu

        • by hazah (807503)
          MERRICA! FUCK YA! (not an american, but couldn't resist)
        • by ApplePy (2703131)

          Well, perhaps some United States citizen can explain this to me?

          Umm... nope, doesn't make any sense to me either.

          All non-Americans seem to think that all Americans are somehow individually responsible for the actions of our government. In truth, we have about as much control over it as you do.

      • You're right, we shouldn't blame the criminal, we should blame the banks!!!

        Really? So if someone crashes into me because they had too much to drink, I should blame the car company and the beer company and not the idiot drinking and driving?

        • by Artifakt (700173)

          While I agree we should still blame the criminal, what's wrong with blaming the banks too? Poor security is a real factor in most of these cases, and being neglectful enough of security is negligence, in some cases even criminal negligence. Making promises to safeguard other people's money and then blowing off those promises may rise to the level of fraud. Indeed, the fees charged by those financial institutions are one of the reasons the law should see it as fraud, as the more money a legal entity makes of

          • Oh, I don't disagree, if the banks were careless with security, then yes, they are responsible too.

            I'm just saying that we shouldn't leave the criminal alone who actually did the crime of using the information illegally.

    • Would you be able to execute this person yourself? If you answer yes, are you sure you've given the whole executing thing enough thought?
      • Would you be able to execute this person yourself?

        Yes.

        Why? Because I'm old enough to understand that some people just need to be put down. We put down rabid dogs, frankly there are humans who are no better.

        Do I think that should be done often? No, but there are times and cases when the criminal clearly understands that he/she was committing crimes and hurting people, that he/she was abusing the system for personal gain and didn't care who they hurt.

        Such people tend to be sociopaths, they don't care about others, they don't care who they hurt, so

      • BTW, to offer another view point and to point out that I have indeed thought this through:

        http://abcnews.go.com/US/charges-texas-father-beat-death-daughters-molester/story?id=16612071 [go.com]

        This guy in Texas found a man sexually assualting his 5 year old daughter, and proceeded to beat him to death with his bare hands.

        It is considered homicide, but it is lawful in Texas in this situation.

        So killing someone else is acceptable, when the right situation exists. We can debate what those situations are. I dou

        • BTW, to offer another view point and to point out that I have indeed thought this through:

          http://abcnews.go.com/US/charges-texas-father-beat-death-daughters-molester/story?id=16612071 [go.com] [go.com]

          This guy in Texas found a man sexually assualting his 5 year old daughter, and proceeded to beat him to death with his bare hands.

          And then called an ambulance in a desparate attempt not to let the guy die. Wow. Not sure how many people would've done that.

          I really hope the dad has never lost a moment's sleep over what he did.

          • You have to call an ambulance for legal reasons, and I'm sure he was in shock over the whole thing...

            He'll lose much more sleep over seeing his 5 year old raped than over killing the scum who did it.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yeah so drive over four persons while drunk and pay 400k for rehab..
      but should be executed for essentially fencing stolen goods?

      and I don't see how "more often" goes with "let's punish some one dude a lot", it doesn't really average out to that. wire fraud and computers related crime is already punishable with punishments that are way out of proportion compared to traditional crime where the victim loses all his shit AND gets a knife stuck in his stomach.

      sure, would be nice if fraudsters got prosecuted more

      • Drunk driving is a serious problem that a lot of people don't take seriously enough.

        If you drink and drive and kill someone, then the problem comes back to, "you chose to drink, while keep the keys, thus you had the choice to avoid it".

        Frankly, I think you should have to hand over your keys before a bar serves you a second drink, or maybe we shouldn't have bars. I enjoy a drink or two at home, but I would never go driving and I don't drink to get drunk. I have one or two, then go to bed, like a sane m

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @08:32PM (#45676499)
    If you're going to pillage the bank accounts of thousands (or millions) of people, you gotta do it through deceptive ponzi mortgage schemes and buying off market regulators to make it legal.
  • Cousin, let's go bowlink!
  • I watched an episode once of American Greed about Max Butler [wikipedia.org] who had the longest prison sentence for hacking in history (13 years). In my opinion he had no remorse for what he did. He truly believed he didn't really hurt anyone. In his interview he was basically like, "when they raided me, I thought they were just picking up bricks (encrypted hard drives) but apparently the FBI has some really smart guys". He seemed more remorseful with the fact that he lost to the FBI than anything else. This guy prob
  • will probably get the same kind of sentence, as the crimes were similar.

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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