Written by Jeff Stone
Nov 10, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP
A Russian man who once described himself as the “king of fraud” for his role in orchestrating a multimillion dollar crime spree was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.
Aleksandr Zhukov, 41, was convicted in May of defrauding U.S. advertising companies out of $7 million in part by using networks of hacked computers, or botnets, to artificially inflate web traffic. Working with a small network of cybercriminals, Zhukov directed bot traffic to inauthentic websites, charging marketing companies to run advertisements on websites that attracted little, if any, real visitors.
Two of Zhukov’s associates have pleaded guilty to involvement in the 3ve scheme, also known as Methbot, while six others have faced charges for the alleged roles in the effort.
“Sitting at his computer keyboard in Bulgaria and Russia, Zhukov boldly devised and carried out an elaborate multi-million-dollar fraud against the digital advertising industry, and victimized thousands of companies across the United States,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “Today’s sentence holds the defendant accountable for his deception and outright theft of more than $7 million, and sends a powerful message to cyber criminals around the world that