New York Man Sentenced for Fraud Conspiracy and ID Theft

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A New York man was sentenced today to 66 months in prison for his role in acquiring and using thousands of stolen payment card numbers, as well as other personal information.

According to court documents, from at least June 2016 through at least June 2019, Vladimir Michel, 34, of Brooklyn, and his co-conspirators committed various acts of fraud that resulted in at least $2.7 million in intended losses. One of the primary ways that Michel and his co-conspirators defrauded others was by obtaining and using thousands of stolen payment card numbers. Michel and his co-conspirators acquired and shared this account information by accessing illicit websites and using email and instant messaging platforms.

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Michel and members of the conspiracy monetized the stolen payment cards they acquired by using the account information to purchase high-end merchandise and then re-sell it. For purchases at retail stores, the conspirators sometimes loaded the stolen payment card information into smartphones and paid for merchandise with their smartphones’ contactless payment features. Michel and his co-conspirators conducted fraudulent transactions across the United States, including at a number of retail stores in the Eastern District of Virginia.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Robert E. Bornstein, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division; and Charles “Andy” Penn, Acting Chief of Police, Arlington County Police Department, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.

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Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander P. Berrang and Nathaniel Smith III prosecuted the case. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Fong also provided significant assistance in this prosecution.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:19-cr-276.

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