An Iranian man was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for access device fraud and 60 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit identity theft and access device fraud, to be served concurrently, in connection with an international scheme to sell credit card information online. He was further ordered to pay $36.6 million in restitution.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi and Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New Orleans, Louisiana, Field Office made the announcement.
Milad Kalantari, 32, an Iranian citizen, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. of the Southern District of Mississippi. Kalantari was arrested in December 2015, when he entered the United States at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. On Oct. 6, 2016, Kalantari pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and access device fraud and one count of substantive access device fraud.
As part of the plea, Kalantari admitted that he was a member of a financial fraud conspiracy that owned and operated numerous websites, in Kalantari’s name, dedicated to the distribution and sale of stolen credit and debit card information belonging to victims all over the world – including citizens and banks located throughout the United States. As part of the scheme, Kalantari sold approximately 2.5 million stolen credit cards on his websites, with an intended loss amount valued at over $1.2 billion. More than $35 million in actual losses have been confirmed with U.S. companies including more than $26 million in losses to Discover Card and almost $5 million in losses to American Express.
Senior Counsel Peter Roman of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Helen Wall of the Southern District of Mississippi prosecuted the case, which was investigated by HSI’s Gulfport Regional Office.