The accused founder and operator of a hardcore child porn distribution site was charged in a New Jersey court Monday on 32 counts of child exploitation, money laundering and related offenses after being extradited from Thailand, prosecutors announced.
Ukrainian citizen Maksym Shynkarenko, 33, was arrested in Thailand in 2009 for the material distributed internationally through an array of web sites which featured photographs and videos of children being sexually assaulted and abused.
The extradition process was completed and he was moved to the United States over the weekend, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a statement on Monday.
"As the latest step in an investigation that has resulted in the convictions of more than 560 offenders from 47 states, Shynkarenko’s extradition from Thailand to a New Jersey courtroom is a milestone in one of our most important fights – keeping our children safe from harm," the statement said.
According to the indictment, a variety of web sites run by Shynkarenki, under names such as Illegal.cp, Hottest Child Porn Garden, Sick Child Room, Hualuma, and Real Child Porno offered subscribers access to thousands of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of boys and girls ranging from infants to teenagers.
According to the attorney general's statement the initial page of the site called Illegal.cp offered subscribers this advice: Upon accessing the "Illegal.CP" website, the initial: "Our site is considered to be illegal in all countries.... Even if you ever have problems with police, you can always say that someone had stolen the information from your credit card and used it. It is very difficult to establish that you were the person to pay."
From as early as December 2003 through July 2008, Shynkarenko and co-conspirators earned hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling access to child pornography, the court document said.
The indictment alleges that Shynkarenko and co-conspirators developed elaborate systems to appear as legal merchants and conceal their identity from credit card companies and law enforcement, and then deposited their earnings in banks around the world, including New Jersey, Latvia, Estonia, and the Ukraine.
The investigation, which started in 2005, was a joint effort of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and Homeland Security Investigation unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Attorney General Fishman.
It said that if convicted, Shynkarenko faces a statutory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of 20 years on each of 15 counts of transportation and shipment of child pornography, and additional penalties on the other charges.
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