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Founder of major credit card fraud site sentenced to 18 years in jail

  |   Dec. 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM
NEW YORK, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A man who helped set up one of the world's largest websites that sold stolen credit card information has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, authorities say.

Randy Vega, 49, a Ukrainian national, co-founded the website CarderPlanet and had more than 500,000 stolen credit card numbers when arrested, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement Thursday.

Court documents said Vega founded two Internet marketplaces where he sold large volumes of credit card numbers he had acquired through hacking and other means. Buyers used the information to buy goods and services.

Vega's website was "one of the largest and most sophisticated credit card fraud sites in the cybercrime underworld," Acting Assistant Attorney General Mithili Raman said in the statement.

Vega co-founded CarderPlanet in the early 2000s after created the Boa Factory, a similar website for selling stolen credit card information, in the late 1990s, the Justice Department said.

At its height, CarderPlanet had more than 6,000 members. It had a quality control system that assured the stolen information was usable.

Vega was arrested in Cyprus in February 2003.

He was extradited to the United States in 2004 and pleaded guilty to federal charges, ArsTechnica.com reported. He pleaded guilty to new charges in 2009, but attempted to withdraw his plea in 2011. A judge denied his request in 2012.

He was sentenced Thursday after being in continuous custody since 2003.

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