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Romeo Stepanenko 3W3RR

Back in 2005, someone here posted the story of Roman Vega, aka Romeo
Stephanenko, going to trial in the US for credit card fraud.

I just ran into a presentation from the Blackhat 2009 conference, which
mentioned him, with details I hadn't read before.

He's in jail now, convicted. But surprisingly, he was not quite the
leader/innovator/technology leader in the emerging online credit card
fraud industry. The initial news release didn't include all this detail.

He might be able to receive QSL cards as inmate #59198-004 at the
Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center. :-)

I looked around, and I didn't notice any hams posting post-2005 about
what happened, or detail beyond the press release, so here's some detail.

There's a picture of Roman in the presentation also. He was 39 in 2004.

"One of the first individuals to create a sustainable business model
based on cybercrime was a certain Roman Vega of Ukraine, a.k.a. Roman
Stepanenko, a.k.a. "BOA" (now known as inmate #59198-004 in the Federal
Bureau of Prisons), who started a website called Boa Factory in the late 1990s. Boa Factory was a
one-stop clearing house for buying and selling virtually all assets
produced by financially-motivated online criminal activity of that time.
One could get plastic cards, raw "dumps" (magnetic stripe data from bank
and credit cards), traveler's checks and even counterfeit passports. Vega
was eventually arrested while vacationing in Cyprus (a popular European
destination for Russian and Ukrainian tourists) in June 2004, extradited
to California and charged with a 40-count indictment of wire fraud and
trafficking in stolen credit cards. Another indictment in New York for
access device fraud and money laundering followed 2 years later and
convictions eventually secured.

Eventually, Boa Factory evolved into another organization called
CarderPlanet , which was founded in May 2001 and operated through August 2004, at which point it was shut down
by senior members of the group following high profile arrests of key
members earlier that summer (including Boa). CarderPlanet was reportedly
organized following a meeting at a restaurant in a Ukranian port city of
Odessa between Roman Vega, his protege, individual going by the nickname
'Script', and several others. Together, they became the administrators
(or 'Capo di Capi' as they chose to call themselves) of the forum and
evolved it into a mature marketplace for purchase, review and
distribution of cybercriminals goods and services, as well as providing
tutorials for new members looking to get a quick 'Getting Started' guide
to online fraud schemes."

Kevin KE6RAD
9D0RR QSL 4K2OT 3W3RR UH8EA
XY0RR QSL UA9MA 4K2OT 3W3RR RA3AUU
1S0RR Spratly QSL UA9MA 4K2OT RA3AUU 3W3RR
5A0RR Coin Libya
P5RS7 North Korea QSL UB4JDM UW0MF UT3UY 3W3RR
P5ROMEO QSL

4L5A's comment:

In general, it was Don Miller W9WNV who first introduced the fake
DX-peditions concept. The 3W3RR Romeo Stepanenko "situation" received
publicity after his P5RS7 "expedition". Rumors say the operation took
place from Russkiy island, different sources mention using
direction-finding gear and some mention Mike UW0MF (now UA0MF) helping
unmasking the lies.

2 Comments

100%
Rating: 5 of 5
Dirceu
  • Callsign: py5ip
  • 2011-07-19 07:24:43
Hello my friend my coleague Waldemar PY5WD made contact with dx pedition XY0RR but never received qsl card . Please , is possible send the manager from this call ? Thankhs in advanced Dirceu PY5IP
100%
Rating: 5 of 5
Edward
  • Callsign: NT2X
  • 2011-05-04 04:42:58
Romeo has been in US jails for 9 years (as of April 2011), accused, but not convicted of any crime. No trial has even taken place. Any commentary to the contrary are simply not true.

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