Six men are facing charges of taking over StubHub user accounts, stealing personal identifying information, using victims’ credit cards to make fraudulent electronic ticket purchases, and transferring the proceeds through a global network of accomplices in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and Canada. Stubhub ended up losing $1 million.
StubHub, an eBay subsidiary that operates a public website and digital marketplace for customers to buy and sell e-tickets to various entertainment events, discovered more than 1,000 compromised accounts by individuals who used the preexisting credit card information associated with the accounts to purchase tickets without the legitimate cardholders’ authorization, according to the indictment.
StubHub reported the fraud and immediately implemented security measures to prevent these intrusions, known as “Account Take-Over” fraud. However, investigators learned the criminal ring was able to circumvent security protocols within the accounts by using new credit card information stolen from additional victims, instead of the original victims’ preexisting card information.
After investigating the receipts and transaction records of more than 1,600 illegally accessed accounts, analysts in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office were able to trace the exchanges to Internet protocol addresses, PayPal accounts, bank accounts, and other financial accounts used and controlled by the indicted individuals.
Vadim Polyakov, 30, and Nikolay Matveychuk, 21, are facing charges of using information taken from StubHub accounts and stolen credit card numbers to purchase more than 3,500 e-tickets that went to a group of individuals in New York and New Jersey to be resold within hours of an event.
These events included some of New York’s most popular and sought-after events, such as concerts featuring Elton John, Marc Anthony, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z; athletic events including Yankee baseball games, Giants and Jets football games, Knicks and Nets basketball games, Rangers hockey games, and the U.S. Open; and Broadway shows, such as Book of Mormon.
Daniel Petryszyn, 28, Laurence Brinkmeyer, 29, and Bryan Caputo, 29, face charges of reselling stolen tickets they received from Polyakov and his associates. As instructed by Polyakov, criminal proceeds from the resale of stolen tickets ended up divided and directed to multiple PayPal accounts controlled by Polyakov and his associates, as well as multiple bank accounts in the United Kingdom and Germany.
One of these bank accounts belonged to Sergei Kirin, 37, a Russian national who advertised his money-laundering services online. Polyakov directed Petryszyn, Brinkmeyer, and Caputo to send payments to Kirin, who retained a percentage of the money as his fee. Thousands of dollars also went into separate payments and sent by wire transfer to other money-launderers in London, England and Toronto, Canada.
On July 1, the DA’s Office determined Polyakov and a friend were traveling in Spain. Within hours of confirming his presence in the country, Interpol issued an international Red Notice for his arrest. Two days later, Spanish authorities working with United States Secret Service agents arrested Polyakov outside of his hotel near Barcelona.
On Wednesday, investigators from the DA’s Office, NYPD, United States Secret Service, Bergen County, and Hudson County, executed search warrants in New York and New Jersey at the residences of Petryszyn, Brinkmeyer, and Caputo for additional evidence of their participation and involvement in the scheme.
City of London Police detectives investigating what they suspect to be the proceeds of criminal activity laundered through legitimate UK bank accounts arrested three men. The men, aged 27, 39, and 46, ended up arrested in London on suspicion of money laundering offenses and taken to local police stations for questioning. Royal Canadian Mounted Police also executed a search warrant and arrested an additional suspected money-launderer in Toronto.
The defendants face charges in New York State Supreme Court with varying degrees of Money Laundering, Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, and Identity Theft, among other charges.