Regpay Child Porn Processors Sentenced to 25 Years
Yahor Zalatarou and Aliaksandr Boika, both of Minsk, Belarus, were convicted of processing payments for online child pornography through their Regpay third-party payment processing company.
The two men also ran a network of paysites that included DarkFeeling.com, Lust-Gallery.com, and Lolittles.com.
Authorities first became aware of the operation in 2000 when the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection reported the Regpay-owned PedoWorld website to law enforcement officials, after its own forensic investigation.
“ASACP started reporting Regpay sites to the FBI back in 2000, and it’s great to see those efforts pay off," ASACP Executive Director Joan Irvine told XBIZ. "But it took years for the combined efforts of U.S. and international agencies together to follow the money trail, make arrests and get convictions. That shows just how tough it can be to fight child pornography.”
In February 2005, Zalatarou and Boika pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to distribute or advertise child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Cavanaugh sentenced the two men to 25 years in prison and gave each man a $25,000 fine.
Cavanaugh also sentenced Alexei Buchnev to three years in prison for conspiracy to distribute child pornography. Buchnev, who also pleaded guilty, served as a translator for Zalatarou and Boika.
Fallout from the Regpay case has netted more than 1,400 arrests around with world, including about 330 in the U.S. Evidence obtained from seized Regpay computers demonstrates that the company handled credit card transactions for more than 90,000 customers worldwide. Nearly half of all the company’s illegal transactions served U.S.-based customers.
Assistant U.S. attorney Kevin O’Dowd’s decision to pursue distributors of online child pornography marks one of the first efforts to track the international financial path of child porn sales.
O’Dowd said that many of the sites run by the men contained “images of pre-pubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
"The lives of the children featured in these horrible images are forever altered," O’Dowd said.