Russian Hacker Extradited by Israel Pleads Guilty in U.S.

Israeli officials have suggested Russia sought the release of Aleksei Burkov by offering an exchange for Naama Issachar

Russian hacker Aleksey Burkov at the High Court, November 3, 2019.
Oren Ben Hakoon

A Russian national pleaded guilty Thursday to running a website that helped people commit more than $20 million in credit-card fraud.

Aleksei Burkov, 29, of St. Petersburg, Russia, entered the plea to charges including fraud and money laundering in a federal court in Alexandria.

He was extradited to the U.S. from Israel in November over the objection of Russian officials.

An indictment accused Burkov of running a website called Cardplanet that let people buy stolen credit-card numbers for anywhere from $3 to $60. People used the numbers to make more than $20 million in fraudulent purchases. Prosecutors say Burkov even offered a money-back guarantee if a stolen card number no longer worked.

In court Thursday, Burkov admitted to running a second website on an invite-only basis that allowed cybercriminals to sell stolen data.

Israeli officials have suggested Russia sought Burkov's release by offering an exchange for Naama Issachar, a 26-year-old Israeli woman who received a seven-year prison sentence in Moscow on marijuana charges.

Burkov faces a prison sentence of up to 15 years at his May 8 sentencing.