Russian immigrant sentenced in large trucking fraud case

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

Monday via Wired magazine came a story about the sentencing of 34-year-old Russian immigrant, hacker and Asberger’s syndrome sufferer Viachelav Berkovich, who managed to operate a profitable but fraudulent trucking business “over a three-year period,” wrote Wired reporter Kevin Poulsen. Berkovich and his codefendant in the case, Nicholas Lakes, also a Russian immigrant, had managed to hack DOT site repeatedly to “temporarily change the contact information for a legitimate trucking company to an address and phone number under their control,” Poulsen wrote.

From there, they posed as the company, convincing live broker posters to internet load boards that they would move a load. Then they’d farm the load out to a real trucker, invoice the broker once the load was delivered, and change the contact information on Safersys back to the legitimate trucking company’s. I’d bet you can see who was on the losing end of this — when the hauler who moved the load tried to get paid, Berkovich and Lakes were nowhere to be found.

To read Wired‘s full story, visit this page. But the DOT/OIG affidavit detailing the pair’s crimes is even better reading, and perhaps contains sad lessons for us all in the limits of trust.