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A Perth tech tycoon has been jailed in the US for eight years over a massive text message scam that funded his life of luxury.
Russian-born former rich-lister Zhenya Tsvetnenko’s rags to riches tale was once the talk of the town.

Tsvetnenko went from a cash-strapped university dropout to a multi-millionaire in a few short years.

Former Perth rich-lister Zhenya Tsvetnenko's rags to riches tale was once the talk of the town.
Former Perth rich-lister Zhenya Tsvetnenko’s rags to riches tale was once the talk of the town. (9News)

But behind his success was an auto-subscribing scam that fleeced $US41 million from American phone customers.

Tsvetnenko, a major player in the fraud, claimed the biggest cut.

His greed funded a high-flying lifestyle mixing with Hollywood royalty.

But even he knew those days were numbered.

The fraudster finally surrendered in January, after more than three years battling extradition.

US prosecutors said he was “paying a steep price for his mobile scam”.

Tsvetnenko is now paying back all the stolen money and spending 98 months in a US federal prison.

Whether he will be allowed a transfer to Australia remains to be seen.

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