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Fugitive Shadowcrew suspect hauled into US court... 9 YEARS on

Bulgarian cybercrime forum member flogged dodgy IDs - DoJ

US prosecutors have finally got their hands on a fugitive cybercrime suspect, nine years after the Bulgarian national was indicted (PDF) over his alleged involvement in the infamous Shadowcrew carding forum.

Aleksi Kolarov, 30, appeared in a Newark, New Jersey court on Monday following his extradition from Paraguay last Friday. Kolarov faces charges of conspiracy to sell counterfeit identification documents and access devices through Shadowcrew, an underground cybercrime forum dismantled by US authorities back in 2004.

Using the alias APK, Kolarov allegedly sold stolen credit card dumps and bank account information, as well as counterfeit passports, drivers' licences, birth certificates and other identity documents.

Kolarov was one of 19 suspects charged over their roles within Shadowcrew, which at its peak boasted an estimated 4,000 members, making it the largest carding forum of its era during its period of operation between August 2002 and October 2004.

Just three of the 19 people charged remain at large, according to the DoJ. If convicted, Kolarov faces 30 years in jail: a maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge, 15 years on the identification documents count and 10 years in jail on the access device count. Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger has more background of Kolarov's appearance in a US court, including a mug shot, in a story here.

Investigators reckon the forum was used to trade in an estimated 1.5 million stolen credit card details, resulting in losses of $4m before a takedown operation, facilitated by cybercrime forum-kingpin-turned-US-Secret-Service-snitch-turned-recidivist-cyberblagger Albert Gonzalez.

Gonzalez went on to mastermind megahacks against TJ Maxx and Heartland Payment Systems that earned him a 20-year prison sentence back in March 2010. ®

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