Computer Crime Research Center


Child porn: Byelorussian case

Date: March 17, 2005
Source: The Philadelphia Enquirer
By: Jeffrey Gold

Businessmen extradited from Europe entered pleas in N.J. The probe has led
to 1,200-plus arrests.

Newark, N.J. - Two leaders of a Belarus company admitted in federal court
yesterday that it had processed $2.5 million to $7 million in membership
fees that gave subscribers around the world access to child-pornography Web

The guilty pleas from Regpay Co. Ltd. president Yahor Zalatarou and
technical administrator Aliaksandr Boika were the latest developments in a
global investigation that has led to more than 1,200 arrests.

Protect your children online now!

Nearly all of those arrested, including about 200 people in the United
States, are charged with buying child-pornography subscriptions from the
Regpay sites, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The arrests led to a Florida company that has admitted laundering proceeds
from the memberships on behalf of Minsk-based Regpay by transmitting the
money to accounts in Latvia.

Zalatarou and Boika are among a handful of key individuals in the scheme,
according to investigators. Their company was "one of the biggest players
in the world doing this at the time," Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos Ortiz

Zalatarou and Boika each pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Newark to
money-laundering conspiracy, which carries up to 20 years in prison and a
fine as much as double the value of the funds involved.

Zalatarou also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to transmit child pornography
by computer, which carries a sentence of five to 20 years in prison and a
fine as much as double the enterprise's profits. Boika pleaded guilty to
conspiring to advertise child pornography, which carries a sentence of 15
to 30 years in prison and a fine as much as twice the profits.

Zalatarou, 26, and Regpay marketing director Alexei Buchnev, 27, were flown
to Newark in January after being extradited from France, where they had
been in custody since July 2003. Boika, 30, was extradited from Spain in
June. Buchnev pleaded guilty Feb. 16 to conspiring to transmit child
pornography by computer.

All three men are being held without bail. A fourth company official
remains at large.

In court, Zalatarou said the scheme began in July 2002 through a company he
called Trustbill. Two months later, when authorities told him that the
payments were for child pornography and that he should stop, the company
was renamed Regpay, he said.

Boika said Regpay operated a now-defunct Web site that advertised
memberships to child-porn sites. The site described and rated 11 of the
sites, Ortiz said.

Zalatarou also said he had hired Connections USA Inc., based in Fort
Lauderdale, Fla., to process credit-card transactions on behalf of Regpay
customers. In May, Connections USA pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge
and agreed to forfeit $1.1 million and dissolve its business.
Original article

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