(QHA) -

A Ukrainian cybercriminal has been sentenced to 18 years in a US prison for his role in co-founding CarderPlanet, a prominent online marketplace for trading in stolen credit card information and other financial data, the US Justice Department announced, Turkish weekly reports.

Roman Vega, 49, was sentenced in Brooklyn after spending 10 years in custody as his case worked its way through courts in Cyprus, where he was first arrested in 2003, before being extradited to the United States a year later.

“Vega helped create one of the largest and most sophisticated credit card fraud sites in the cybercrime underworld – a distinction that has earned him the substantial sentence he received today,” acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement.

CarderPlanet, which enabled cybercriminals to buy and sell stolen financial data, once had 6,000 members and “became one of the first and busiest online marketplaces for the sale of stolen financial information, computer hacking services and money laundering,” according to the Justice Department.

It also had a hierarchical leadership structure that borrowed titles from the Italian mafia. The site was overseen by a “godfather,” below whom were “dons” and “consiglieres” or “advisers.” Vega was a “don,” but also served as a “consigliere,” US authorities said.