The Russian king of fraud was imprisoned for 10 years … he led an electronic army

A Russian man convicted of fraud and money laundering for his role in the Methbot digital advertising program was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The Ministry of Justice claimed that between September 2014 and December 2016, Alexander Zhukov and several other conspirators had conspired It deals with advertising networks to place ads online.

But they used a bot farm and hired servers to simulate users visiting fake versions of websites like the New York Times and New York Daily News.

Ads are never shown to human users. But Zhukov earned $ 7 million in a scam to fake Internet traffic. Which became known as Methbot after its bogus Media Methane ad network, according to the Justice Department.

“Sitting at the keyboard of a computer in Bulgaria and Russia, US prosecutor Bron Pace said in a claim to have boldly devised and executed a sophisticated multi-million dollar cyber fraud against the digital advertising industry. Thousands of companies in the United States have been victims. This has prompted companies to pay inflated advertising prices.

As part of the detailed plan, Zhukov hired programmers and other people to help build the infrastructure that made the scheme possible. And 1,900 servers were used to generate millions of views false of ads online.

Zhukov made $ 7 million from running the deal and transferred the money to offshore banks in Worldwide.

The United States said that companies such as Pepsi, charities, and other advertisers were charging them inflated prices due to digital bots displaying ads.

Prosecutors claimed that Zhukov and the co-conspirators in Russia and Kazakhstan have corrupted the complex and vulnerable advertising ecosystem online using server in rent in Dallas and Amsterdam to bypass fraud protection and simulate business online of millions of people viewing ads online.

Zhukov took a stand during the three-week trial, saying he never deceived anyone. I think it was giving the industry what it wanted, which was a way to drive traffic to the site at a cheap, albeit artificial, cost.

Authorities said he referred to contractors as his developers and himself as the fraud king. In May, a jury found Zhukov guilty of conspiracy for fraud, electronic fraud, and money laundering conspiracy.

Zhukov was arrested in Bulgaria in 2018 and extradited to New York. In addition to the 10-year prison sentence, Zhukov was sentenced to pay $ 3.8 million in confiscation.

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