Washington DC May 15, 2013
Today, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) released the 2012 Internet Crime Report, a summary of reported fraudulent activity, including data and statistics. In 2012, the IC3 received and processed 289,874 complaints, averaging more than 24,000 complaints per month. Unverified losses reported to IC3 rose 8.3 percent over the previous year.
A new section in this year’s report includes charts for each of the 50 states detailing demographic, complaint, and dollar-loss data. The section allows for easy comparisons and convenient reference. Additional content includes frequently reported Internet crimes, case highlights, and graphs that explain the lifecycle of a complaint. The most common complaints received in 2012 included FBI impersonation e-mail scams, various intimidation crimes, and scams that used computer “scareware” to extort money from Internet users. The report gives detailed information about these and other commonly perpetrated scams in 2012. The IC3 works to educate the public and law enforcement about fraud trends.
“The 2012 Internet Crime Report reveals both the volume and the scope of Internet crime, as well as the efforts of IC3 and law enforcement to combat these crimes,” said National White Collar Crime Center Director Don Brackman. “As technology continues to advance, so will our efforts to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals.”
Richard A. McFeely, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, said, “Criminals are increasingly migrating their fraudulent activities from the physical world to the Internet. Computer users who suspect or become victims of online fraud schemes—including suspicious e-mails, fraudulent websites, and Internet crimes—should report them to the IC3. The IC3 analyzes and makes connections among these reports and packages them for potential action by law enforcement.”
IC3 is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Since its start in 2000, the IC3 has become a mainstay for victims reporting Internet crime and a way for law enforcement to be notified of such crimes. IC3’s service to the law enforcement community includes federal, state, tribal, local, and international agencies that are combating Internet crime
•The IC3 received nearly 290,000 complaints from victims.
•Dollar losses arising from the 2012 complaints totaled almost $525.5 million.
•Most complaints came from the U.S., but some were sent from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and other countries.
•California had the highest percentage of complaints (13.41), followed by Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, Ohio, and Washington.
•Victims who reported losing money lost an average of nearly $4,600.
•More than 82 percent of complainants were ages 20-50, while 14 percent were 60 and over, and just over three percent were under the age of 20.
Fraud Advice for Consumers
•Be suspicious if the seller only accepts wire transfers or cash.
•If purchasing merchandise, ensure it is from a reputable source.
•Be wary of businesses that operate from P.O. boxes or mail drops.
•If you receive an unsolicited e-mail, be very cautious when responding to offers and giving out personal or financial information. Also, do not click on the links in these e-mails; instead, go directly to the organization’s official website.
Frequently Reported Scams
•Auto fraud: Criminals attempt to sell vehicles that they really do not own, usually advertising them on various online platforms at prices below market value. Often the fraudsters claim they must sell the vehicles quickly because they are relocating for work, are being deployed by the military, or have a tragic family circumstance and are in need of money. And in a new twist, criminals are posing as dealers rather than individual sellers.
•FBI impersonation e-mail scam: The names of various government agencies and government officials have been used in spam attacks for some time, and complaints related to spam e-mail purportedly sent by the FBI continue to be reported with high frequency. These scams, which include elements of Nigerian scam letters, incorporate get-rich inheritance scenarios, bogus lottery winning notifications, and occasional extortion threats.
•Intimidation/extortion scams: More popular ones involve payday loan scams (harassing phone calls to victims claiming they are delinquent on loan payments); process server scams (a supposed process server shows up at a victim’s house or place of employment but is willing to take a debit card number for payment in order to avoid court); and grandparent scams (fraudsters contacting elderly victims pretending to be a young family member in some sort of legal or financial crisis).
•Scareware/ransomware: There are different variations of these scams, but one involves victims receiving pop-up messages on their computers alerting them to purported infections that can only be fixed by purchasing particular antivirus software. Another involves malware that freezes victims’ computers and displays a warning of a violation of U.S. law and directions to pay a fine to the U.S. Department of Justice.
For more tips, go to the IC3’s 2012 Internet Crime Report (www.ic3.gov) and our Internet Fraud webpage.
About IC3IC3 receives, develops, and refers criminal complaints of cybercrime. IC3 gives victims a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the local, state, federal, and international levels, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving online crime.
- FBI.gov story on 2012 Internet Crime Report
Social media role in lawsuits increases as lawyers, insurance companies troll for evidence www.privateofficer.com
Cleveland OH April 23 2013 The next time you post something on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or practically anywhere else on the Internet, keep in mind you’re leaving cyber crumbs behind.
The trail can become key evidence in a lawsuit, as purported bigamist John France of Westlake learned when his wife discovered he had married someone new after she saw wedding photos of France and Wife 2 on Facebook a few years ago.
Granted, the photos weren’t exactly discreet. The wedding ceremony had been at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., with France dressed as Prince Charming and his new bride as Sleeping Beauty, surrounded by footmen.
While the France case may be over the top, gathering evidence from social media sites and other Internet sources has become quite routine in law practices. Family law, workers’ comp, trademark infringement and defamation litigation all lend themselves to sweeps of social media sites to bolster cases.
“The proverbial ‘smoking gun’ document of the pre-Internet era, which had given way to smoking gun email, has now given way to the smoking gun social media post,” attorneys Joshua Briones and Ana Tagvoryan write in “Social Media as Evidence,” newly published by the American Bar Association.
The authors point to the staggering growth of social media as tracked by pewinternet.org. Eighty percent of Americans who are online now regularly use some form of it. By the end of 2012, there were 200 million blogs worldwide, 901 million monthly active users of Facebook, more than 260 million users on Myspace, 160 million LinkedIn users, 340 million Tweets every 24 hours and 4 billion YouTube views per day, according to the Pew Research Center.
People will say things on social media sites that they would never say around the water cooler, said Tracy Johnson, an intellectual-property lawyer at Calfee Halter & Griswold in Cleveland.
“I think there’s a certain feeling of social anonymity,” Johnson said. “Also, I don’t think people really understand — certainly they don’t think about — the permanence of what they said or how they’re saying it. Sometimes it’s practically impossible to pull back an utterance online.”
An utterance or an image: Police in the recent conviction of Taunee Smith in the 2011 murder of DeJohn Dammons in Euclid used Facebook photos to identify Smith as present on the night of the shooting.
In an Arizona criminal case, prosecutors used the Myspace profile of Kirk Pressley Jr. to prove his Internet usage and alcohol consumption in violation of his probation. Pressley argued unsuccessfully on appeal that the trial court erred in admitting Myspace photographs.
On the civil side, litigants are checking social media sites as a standard part of due diligence for their clients. And insurance companies comb Facebook and Twitter accounts to assess the status of clients who file accident and personal injury claims.
Intellectual-property lawyer Philip Bautista at the Cleveland office of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, said lawyers there make regular anti-piracy checks of social media sites. They’re looking for trademark and copyright infringements on clients with large portfolios of brands, including the Hershey Co. and gun manufacturer Heckler & Koch, he said.
“You can look at a business’s Facebook page and determine when an opposing party has used the trademark at issue,” Bautista said.
Briones and Tagvoryan say blogs and even the comments posted on them have deepening legal reach.
Court clerks use blogs as a source for researching legal issues, in the same way they used law review comments in the past, they said. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy recently remarked that comments on law review articles come out too late to be of use to the court, so he finds his clerks reading blogs for insight on cases pending before the court.
Internet sites are not culled only for evidence to prove cases or impeach witnesses. Online posting itself can be the subject of a lawsuit, as a South Carolina woman found when Med Express of Medina sued her over a complaint she wrote on eBay.
The posting by Amy Nicholls of Greenville, S.C., was not extremely critical. She said the microscope she bought from medical equipment supplier Med Express arrived with $1.44 in postage due. She posted that information online and gave the company a low rating on eBay’s feedback forum.
Med Express admitted its shipping error, offered to reimburse Nicholls for the postage and asked her to take down her posting. When Nicholls refused to retract it, Med Express responded with a defamation lawsuit.
“We certainly admit that it arrived postage due,” said Med Express lawyer James Amodio, who said the postage problem apparently arose because of a weighing error with the package.
Amodio said Med Express insisted on a retraction because the company sells exclusively over eBay, where a sufficient level of negative feedback can increase the cost of sales as well as possibly drive away customers.
A hearing in the case is set for May 1.
Paul Levy, staff attorney for the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, blogged about the case in the hopes of finding a pro bono attorney for the defendant. Public Citizen itself usually doesn’t take on cases such as Nicholls’, at least at the trial court level.
“There are so many defamation cases out there, we couldn’t defend everyone,” Levy said, “and it would only scratch the surface.”
Source- Cleveland Plain Dealer
SARALAND, Ala. April 20 2013 – Saraland Police have arrested seven men in the last two weeks for allegedly soliciting children on the Internet for sex. This is the latest to come out of Saraland PDs Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
In a back office at the Saraland Police Department, one officer takes on multiple roles.
Some days he communicates as a child, others as an adult offering sex with children. Those on the other end of that communication have no idea he is a police really a police officer until they meet Corporal James Morton in person.
FOX10 News sat in while Morton worked.
“In this case, here I am as an adult who resides with the child, and this person here has contacted us in the past and has expressed interest to this point about wanting to engage in sexual activity with children,” said Morton.
Morton finds the suspects lurking around every corner of our digital world.
“They are using the Internet and cell phones to be able to come into our home and seek our children that way,” said Morton.
He said he switches roles to identify different predator suspects.
“The role they dictate we need to take will dictate who we need to be,” said Morton.
Lancy White Jr., Jesse James, Israel Williams, Darrin Landrum, Jason Wilcox, Rafael Nunes Barrionuevo and Thomas Ford have all been arrested by the Saraland Police Department on child Internet sex crime charges in the last two weeks.
In Morton’s office, there is a bookshelf full of binders, each representing one suspect caught by the department. There are 28 in less than a year ago, but for every binder Morton said there are many more predators out there.
“We always know that even if we catch one or two, there are more out there seeking to exploit our children,” said Morton.
Morton said technology has opened doors for predators making it that much easier for those wanting to harm children and you need to be on alert.
“Monitor what your children are doing. Monitor them not only on social media, but their use of text messaging telephones emails social networking is also a main concern,” said Morton.
Morton said parents need to monitor their child’s devices and make sure to check out what the apps really do. He said some of these apps can be a gateway for predators and can also be hidden on your child’s phone.
Hunterdon County Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Distributing Videos of Child Sexual Abuse Over the Internet www.privateofficer.com
John Livoti, 42, of Hampton, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of distribution of child pornography. Judge Pisano imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Livoti admitted that from May 2011 through February 2012 he used peer-to-peer file sharing software to download and to share images of child pornography through the Internet. He accessed the Internet through his neighbor’s wireless Internet connection. He further admitted that for a period of time in 2011, he paid for a minor, living in another state, to access the peer-to-peer network so that the minor could access child pornography.
Special agents of the FBI and other law enforcement executed a search warrant at Livoti’s apartment in Hampton, New Jersey, on February 2, 2012. Law enforcement seized a netbook computer and an external hard drive that contained child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez in Newark; the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III; and Hunterdon County Chief of Detectives John J. Kuczynski with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Pisano sentenced Livoti to lifetime supervised release, with restricted contact with minors, and ordered him to pay $5,000 in restitution. He must also register as a sex offender.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Clabby of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.
Glendale CA Feb 1 2013 A man who may have coerced as many as 350 women to strip for him via webcam has been arrested by the FBI on federal computer-hacking charges.
According to federal authorities, Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, of Glendale, Calif., broke into email, Skype and Facebook accounts.
He then searched for and stole risqué private photos and other information and changed users’ passwords, a Department of Justice statement said.
The statement also said Kazaryn masqueraded as friends of his victims, pretending to be a woman and persuading them to remove their clothes while connected via Skype video chat.
If a victim refused, Kazaryan would allegedly blackmail her into compliance by threatening to post the stolen risqué images online — a classic example of “sextortion.”
Don’t make it easy for the next one
The DOJ press release says Kazaryan “gained unauthorized access to — in other words, hacked into — the victims’ accounts.”
Given the loose definition of hacking under federal criminal code, this could mean Kazaryan simply guessed or reset their passwords.
That’s easy to do when people post personal details on their Facebook pages that are answers to identity-challenge questions such as “What was your mother’s maiden name?”
The press release said Kazaryan has been indicted on 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, he faces up to 105 years in federal prison.
Digital invasion of privacy
There have been many incidents of hackers using webcams to spy on victims.
Last year, several computer-rental companies were caught using webcam images to extort past-due payments from customers.
In 2010, a Santa Ana, Calif., man was busted for a webcam-sextortion scheme similar to Kazaryan’s.
The following year, a Fullerton, Calif., computer technician was caught putting spyware on women’s Apple laptops, then persuading the women to take the laptops into the bathroom while they took showers.
Webcam users can best protect themselves from spyware by making sure they’re behind a secure firewall and using anti-virus software that won’t allow an attacker to clandestinely turn on a user’s webcam.
A lower-tech solution is to simply put black tape over your computer’s webcam when you’re not using it.
It’s also important to remember that not everyone online is always whom they seem to be.
A message that appears to come from a trusted friend could really be from a creep trying to glean information or images that you normally wouldn’t give up to strangers.
Nashville TN Dec 29 2012 Metro police on Thursday arrested a man for allegedly raping a woman who responded to a fake Craigslist posting for secretarial help. Detectives fear there might be other victims as well.
Timothy Earl Story, 38, is charged with three counts of rape, one count of sexual battery and one count of aggravated kidnapping. Story was held in jail in lieu of $425,000 bond.
Police arrested Story Thursday morning at his home at 1636 Dr. D.B. Todd Blvd. after a 45-year-old Madison woman reported that he had raped her there Wednesday afternoon after she showed up to interview for a receptionist job in response to the Internet posting.
The woman told police she had reached into her purse for her resume when Story overpowered her, refused to let her leave and repeatedly sexually assaulted her. She eventually escaped and made it to Skyline Medical Center.
According to police, Story admitted posting the ad to lure a woman to his home.
Detectives urge any other women who may have had contact with Story, particularly if it was initiated through an Internet ad, to call the police department’s Sex Crimes Unit at 615-862-7540
Dougherty County GA Aug 20 2012 A fifth year mechanical engineering student at Georgia Tech has been indicted on 25 counts of online sex in Dougherty County.
Atlanta police arrested Adam Morse, 22, in early June after investigators say the Meldrim, Ga., native sent two dozen pornographic pictures of himself and lots of sexually explicit conversation messages to whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl, but was in fact a member of the Dougherty County Police Internet Crimes Against Children team.
He was later transported to the Dougherty County jail. On Thursday according to Albany’s WALB News, prosecutors brought charges against Morse including obscene internet contact with a child and distribution of material depicting sexual conduct or nudity.
He is free on bond, but if convicted could face 20 years in prison.
According to the news report, Morse did not try to arrange a visit with the minor, but police say that he “could have possibly moved in that direction in the future.”
A graduate of South Effingham High School, Morse was an ROTC member at Georgia Tech. According to his Twitter account, he has plans to be an officer in the Army after graduation.
Anderson CA July 29 2012 An Anderson man and guardian of two children is in custody after authorities say they found violent child pornography on his computers and online chats in which he discussed torturing and eating children.
Jason Scarcello, 42, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of having and distributing pornographic videos and photos of children, said agents with the Homeland Security Investigations branch of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Scarcello’s was one of 42 arrests made around the world in what authorities called one of the most disturbing cases of its kind they’ve seen. He is one of 12 arrested in the U.S.
“Just being able to finally SEE an actually (sic) child cooking would be a dream come true. I really am hoping that I can find some attainable targets up here,” Scarcello wrote in one chat under a screen name, investigators said. They said he wrote that he’d like to try eating one child and he’s “not worried about any of the potential kids.”
Scarcello, who serves as a guardian to two children, had multiple CDs and DVDs depicting children being abused and, in some cases, dead, Special Agent Gene Kizenko said in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Agents say they still are investigating whether Scarcello ever assaulted any children.
The District Court website listed Matthew McCrary Scoble, of the Office of Federal Defenders, as the attorney for Jason Scarcello.
Scoble declined to comment on the case.
Agents say they were led to Scarcello after arresting others allegedly involved in an international child pornography ring. Participants used “peer to peer” networks to trade images and videos of child pornography using special keywords to identify the explicit material, Kizenko said.
Agents built their case by piecing together clues from Scarcello’s IP address, his Yahoo! email account and tracking pornographic images shared by Scarcello, Michael Arnett, of Kansas City, and others, Kizenko said in his complaint. An IP address is the unique numeric code assigned to a computer when it is connected to the Internet.
Kizenko said Scarcello traded images over the Ares Network, both downloading and distributing images and video. Kizenko said agents found at least 37 unique files shared between December 2011 and June 2012 under an IP address registered to Scarcello, including two videos of prepubescent children being raped and one involving use of a sex toy on a child.
He said Scarcello also used chat rooms to discuss fantasies. He said Scarcello allegedly chatted online with Arnett about kidnapping, torturing, killing and eating children.
The chats took place between August 2011 and March 2012, Kizenko said.
In several chat logs included in the complaint, Scarcello allegedly asked Arnett about kidnapping children.
“One thing I always forget to ask you is what do you keep in your van, like what’s a good ‘hunting kit’ and supplies do you have,” Kizenko said Scarcello wrote under his screen name. He said Scarcello wrote about the ecstasy he’d expect from kidnapping a child, including the fear his victim would feel.
The pair also discussed cannibalism, Kizenko stated. Arnett asked Scarcello at one point if he would like to “take one to eat for real?” according to the complaint.
“I like to think so. My ideal of coarse would be to have a partner to do it with and learn from, but the reality of it is that I’d probably have to do it alone,” Scarcello wrote, according to Kizenko’s complaint. “I’d say my concerns of doing it are really only in the getting caught. I’m not concerned with what the child or it’s parents think or feel. All of that ‘boo hoo’ BS belongs under the category of ‘woulda coulda shoulda done something to prevent it.’ “
Arnett also used the network to share a photograph he’d taken of two children, younger than 2, bound and gagged in a roasting pan, Kizenko said. Those children were later found alive.
The chats were found by authorities after they arrested Arnett in May.
Ross Feinstein, spokesman for ICE, said Arnett chatted online with Scarcello and one other individual, who also was arrested in another part of the United States, about cannibalism.
“I’ve been a part of this investigation for a while. Everything’s horrific about it,” he said. “The level of discussion of exploitation of children is the most disturbing I’ve ever seen.”
On Wednesday agents showed up at Scarcello’s single-story ranch house, Kizenko said. They searched the two-bedroom, one-bathroom home, which has a children’s jungle gym on the side, he said.
One of the rooms was “obviously” set up for two children, he said. Agents found at least two computers and began searching them.
Kizenko said Scarcello, his wife and the two children showed up; his wife took the children inside while investigators questioned Scarcello.
At first Scarcello said a computer virus had brought up strange things on his computer, but then he admitted to possessing pornography, Kizenko said.
He said Scarcello acknowledged the username for Yahoo! chat that investigators had tracked was his.
He said Scarcello then led investigators to his bedroom and showed them two CD pouches.
A purple pouch with black trim was marked “Jason’s downloaded CDs,” “HANDS OFF,” and “That means you, Hunny Bunny!” Kizenko said in the complaint.
Inside, officers found CDs and DVDs depicting prepubescent children having sex with adults, Kizenko said. He said Scarcello said “he preferred images and videos of girls, but could not say for certain if (he) had images or videos of boys.”
Kizenko said Scarcello told agents he began downloading child pornography about one year ago, with the last time he did it about a month ago.
Kizenko said in the complaint that the photographs involved children being physically abused and in bondage, with some photos of dead children and autopsy photos of children.
Kizenko said Scarcello and his wife have two young children, who were either adopted or in foster care, younger than 10.
Roxanne Burke, a community relations representative for the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, Children’s Services, declined to comment on the case.
In an emailed statement, she said all children fostered through Shasta County Children’s Services can go into homes only if everyone 18 and older passes a criminal record check that includes fingerprints. Foster parents must also take a 27-hour course, and are screened through a process involving interviews and home visits.
The Scarcello investigation was part of an international child pornography probe that began in Boston, Feinstein said.
It began with the arrest of a hotel manager there, he said. Agents found a series of explicit pictures that stood out from the rest, because of a stuffed animal and newer clothing.
ICE agents tracked it to The Netherlands. A television spot involving the child’s face was aired, and within two hours Dutch agents arrested Robert Mikelsons, a day care worker, and his boyfriend, Feinstein said.
He said Mikelsons had abused about 87 children, and agents tracked the photographs’ distribution to Arnett.
Scarcello was the 11th of 12 arrested in the U.S., Feinstein said, while a church bus driver was No. 10.
Scarcello is being held without bail in the Sacramento County jail
PHOENIX AZ June 24 2012 (AP) – Arizona authorities say a Virginia man has been extradited to Phoenix to face charges in a sexual exploitation case.
Phoenix police said Friday that 43-year-old Daniel J. Courtney has been booked into the Maricopa County Jail.
He’s being held on suspicion of numerous counts of luring and aggravated luring of a minor for sexual exploitation.
Phoenix police detectives from the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted an investigation last August and September that led them to Courtney, of Chantilly, Va.
Authorities say Courtney had an electronic relationship with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl in Phoenix and allegedly propositioned her for sex.
But they say he actually was communicating with a task force member.
Police didn’t immediately know whether Courtney has legal representation yet for his case.
BOISE ID June 4 2012 The Ada County Sheriff’s Dept. says a Boise man is accused of offering a 3-year-old child as a prostitute on Craigslist.
Sheriff’s dept. spokesperson Andrea Dearden told KTVB that the Idaho Crimes Against Children Task Force found 39-year-old Jason Lloyd Schaber’s Craigslist posting after a concerned citizen alerted authorities sometime in mid-April.
Dearden says officers worked with Craiglist to find the identity of the person who posted the ad.
Schaber was arrested on Thursday evening after officers tracked him to a home in Boise near Five Mile and Victory Roads.
That’s where police also report finding evidence that allegedly showed Schaber having sexual contact with the same 3-year-old victim.
Schaber is being held at the Ada County Jail on felony charges of lewd conduct with a child under 16, and soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Police records indicate the child in question was living inside Schaber’s home at the time of his arrest, and that same child has now been placed in protective custody.
Dearden says there’s a distinct possibility that more juvenile victims could have been harmed by Schaber as well.
Broward Fla May 9 2012 A U.S. Marine from North Miami was arrested Tuesday on charges of selling the stolen identities of dozens of fellow soldiers in Afghanistan to a Broward County woman recently convicted of filing false income-tax returns in their names.
Jobson Cenor, a 2007 graduate of North Miami Senior High, was arrested at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina by agents for the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
His case is the latest twist among an ever-growing number of tax-fraud schemes prosecuted in South Florida.
Cenor, 22, is accused of selling the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of fellow Marines to Dorothy Boulin, a Coral Springs woman convicted in a related case of seeking to collect tens of thousands of dollars in the names of Marines and other tax-fraud victims.
Boulin told FBI agents that she and Cenor “agreed to split the proceeds from the fraudulent filings,” according to a criminal complaint.
Based at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan, Cenor used his Apple iPad to send text messages and emails to Boulin with the names of other Marines in December and January, according to a criminal complaint. He called himself “CJ Da Boss” in most of the correspondence.
When NCIS agents did a search of Cenor’s quarters at Camp Leatherneck, they seized a list containing the names and Social Security numbers of 44 U.S. Marines, according to the criminal complaint. Of those, 21 were on lists found by FBI agents in Boulin’s residence when they arrested her in February.
Boulin, 29, pleaded guilty in April to stealing the identities of several Marines and committing fraud in her scheme to dupe the Internal Revenue Service into sending her tax refunds on pre-paid debit cards. She faces up to 22 years in prison.
Boulin, who cooperated with authorities as part of a plea agreement, led the FBI to Cenor. At the FBI’s direction, in February she spoke to Cenor by phone in Creole, discussing how she had started filing some of the tax returns using the “identities” provided by Cenor, according to the criminal complaint.
Boulin told Cenor that some of the names were rejected by the IRS. Of those accepted, she said, Cenor “was going to get half of the tax refund money, or approximately $54,000,” the complaint said.
“Cenor said [Boulin] could hold the money until Cenor returned from Afghanistan.”
Now in custody, Cenor is expected to be transferred to Miami federal court to face charges of fraud.
In her plea agreement, Boulin admitted she “received a list of military personnel” serving in the Marines from someone identified only as “C.J.” in a court document. The list included the soldiers’ personal data.
At her home computer, Boulin used an electronic IRS number — normally issued to legitimate tax preparers — to file false returns in the names of at least 14 people, including “several” Marines serving in Afghanistan, according to the document. The bogus returns, processed in January with an online tax-filing company called OLT PRO, sought about $54,000 in refunds from the IRS, which assisted with the investigation.
The FBI infiltrated Boulin’s operation using a confidential informant who pretended to prepare tax refunds with her, according to court records.
Boulin provided the informant with more than 100 photocopies of stolen driver licenses and Social Security cards, as well as printouts of more than 200 names, birth dates and Social Security numbers.
Boulin expected to be paid 20 percent of the money that the informant would obtain from filing the bogus returns using a tax software program.
The Boulin-Cenor case parallels another tax-related fraud investigation: Last week, the FBI wrapped up an undercover operation that resulted in fraud charges against a pair of National Football League veterans and a Miami Jackson High graduate who played football at Syracuse University.
U.S. Army recruiter arrested for using the Internet to solicit sex from 12 yr old www.privateofficer.com
The girl was, in fact, a Curry County Sheriff’s Internet Predator Unit decoy, according to Undersheriff Wesley Waller.
Waller said Arnold Gonzales is charged with felony child solicitation by electronic device.
Gonzales is an Army recruiter assigned to Midland. Waller said on his return to from a special assignment in Oklahoma, Gonzales diverted his travel to Clovis and arrived at a decoy house in Clovis driving a government vehicle.
Gonzales is accused of contacting a profile on an Internet social networking website that represents a 12-year-old girl. Gonzales is also accused of making arrangements to meet the child at her house to engage in sexual intercourse and video record his actions.
Gonzales is the second armed forces recruiter arrested by the sheriff’s special Internet unit.
A Lubbock National Guard recruiter, Jeffrey Jackson, 44, was sentenced April 11 to 10 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and required to register as a sex offender.
He was arrested in November 2011 in Clovis and accused of using the Internet to solicit sex from a 15-year-old girl.
Chicago IL May 2 2012 In a case that combines residential theft and cyberstalking, prosecutors say a 32-year-old Chinese national is behind a million dollar crime spree.
But when, Jicheng “Kevin” Lui allegedly swiped a $500 stroller from a Roscoe Village porch, a very determined mother became an undercover sleuth, despite threats and intimidation.
The mother, who NBC Chicago is calling “Cathy” to protect her real identity, reported the theft of her stroller but later noticed an ad on Craigslist for one that seemed to be very similar to hers. She set up her own sting operation in the parking lot of a Dominick’s grocery store and said that when Lui showed up, he was pushing her stroller.
Cathy stalled Lui while her friend called Chicago police. Lui was arrested and charged with petty theft. She got her stroller back but weeks later said strange things began happening: bills for pornographic magazines arrived in the mail, deliveries for unordered food came at all hours of the night and male prostitutes showed up at her door.
Someone was using the Internet to harass Cathy’s family. Not even the Chicago police officers involved in her case were immune. One Internet post accused an officer of dealing drugs. Another post said an officer was molesting kids.
All the while, police said the thefts on Chicago’s north side continued.
In one incident, a security camera recorded a man, who prosecutors say is Lui, stroll into an apartment complex. While pretending to chat on a cellphone, the man gets inside by opening the door for a resident carrying a bench. The video shows the man casing the place on foot and by elevator. Finally, he grabs delivered packages and makes his way out the door.
Prosecutors said their investigation led them to Lui’s rented townhouse in Lincoln Park. What police said they found there was beyond anything anyone on the force had seen. Cathy arrived at the townhouse shortly after the warrant was served.
“When they opened up the garage, and then opened up the curtains in this kitchen and dining room, I was shocked to see what I saw,” she said.
The townhouse was packed from floor to ceiling, prosecutors said, with more than 300 packages. Perhaps even more disturbing, Lui had remote controls to 87 garage doors.
“Bikes, strollers, packages that were unopened that had various addresses. I saw someone who lived like a pack rat and a hoarder,” Cathy said.
In all, the goods had an estimated value of roughly a million dollars and made up four truckloads. Lui now faces a series of charges including felony theft and cyberstalking. Prosecutors said more charges could be coming.
“In the back of my head I kept thinking to myself, I can’t believe he tried to sell my stroller; the one item he tries to sell, even though he kept thousands of times,” Cathy said. “He tried to sell my stroller and I felt vindicated that I for some reason was in the right place at the right time to help the community.”
Sources close to the case say Lui wired $500,000 to a bank account in Hong Kong before his arrest. Lui has pleaded not guilty in court.
RICHMOND, VA May 1 2012 – Crooks are getting pretty savvy when it comes to online scams. There’s a scary one you need to watch out for if you do your banking online. Criminals are creating fake chat boxes in hopes of draining your account.
Rex Hockemeyer, with Union First Market Bank says crooks are using fake pop-up chat boxes to collect your personal information. He says, “It is difficult to track and these people are computer programmers so they are pretty savvy.”
It happens when your computer is infected with malware. The malicious program waits for you to enter a bank site and then attacks. A fake chat box, that appears to be from your bank pops up and the criminals go to work. “The scammer will ask for your personal information, your user ID, your password, maybe your account number. Banks already have that information,” Hockemeyer says.
A red flag you’re infected with this chat box virus, you may get a grammatically challenged message on your computer that says, “The system couldn’t identify your PC. You will be contacted by a representative of bank to confirm your personality. Please pass the process of additional verification otherwise your account will be locked.”
The key to protection, Hockemeyer says remember, the bank already knows who you are and will never ask for your personal information. If someone does, it is almost always a scam, log off the site and call your bank. Another safeguard, download an antivirus program on your computer. Hockemeyer says, “Load it on your computer, make sure it is current. That will protect a large percentage from these types of scams because the software can’t be loaded on your computer to begin with.”
Banks like Union First, work hard to keep you safe and offer tips on their website about scams and fraud schemes to watch out for. Charles Driest, is the Online Banking Manager for Union First, he says this pop box scam shouldn’t deter you from banking online. “No definitely don’t be afraid, online banking is very safe we utilize multiple levels of security,” he says.
Banking experts say when you use the chat box feature, pay close attention to the message from the person on the other end. Check for grammar mistakes , look for your bank’s logo and other branding, it should be consistent with your banking site. Union First says it is not aware of any victims and like all banks, it continues to work hard to stay one step ahead of the criminals. Driest says, “You look at bank vaults and bank vaults went from being very simple, to very sophisticated and online is very much the same thing.”
If you think you’re a victim don’t wait around, check your account to make sure all your money is there and of course contact your bank.
For more information on this scam visit the link below.
SC Health and Human Services employee stole 228,435 Medicaid recipients’ personal information www.privateofficer.com
COLUMBIA, SC April 21 2012 – The personal information of more than 228,000 Medicaid recipients in South Carolina has been stolen by a former state Department of Health and Human Services employee, according to DHHS and the State Law Enforcement Division.
SLED says 36-year-old Christopher Lykes was able to make off with 228,435 Medicaid recipients’ personal information by emailing the information to his personal Yahoo email account.
The information contained names, addresses, and Social Security numbers — information the Lykes had access to and the agency trusted him with.
Most of the people impacted by the security breach live in Richland, Lexington, Barnwell, Orangeburg, Allendale, and Bamberg counties.
Lykes has been charged with five counts of Medically Indigent Act confidentiality violations and one count of disclosure of confidential information.
Lykes, a resident of Swansea, is active in politics. He is listed as the Lexington County Democrat Party’s executive committee. A 2011 SCStatehouse.gov online report shows that Lykes was one of two members of the statewide Democrat Party, serving as an executive committeeman.
Kathryn Hensley, a representative of the Lexington Democratic Party, says Lykes is not currently an officer of the county party, but said he had been one of the Lexington members on the state executive committee.
DHHS Director Tony Keck says the investigation started in January and ended three weeks ago. They found out about the scheme after conducting employee performance reviews.
“The information was not readily available, but it was available to him through a normal reporting process and that’s where we’ve identified a security lapse that the department was not sufficiently requiring employees to justify their need for that information,” Keck said. “That is fairly easy lapse to close and we’ve done that.”
Keck says he called Lykes in on April 10 and fired him, then turned the information over to SLED.
SLED has Lykes’ home computer and is working to track down where the information went and hopefully why this employee wanted it in the first place.
“Agents have now taken possession of his work computer and also the employee’s personal computer. At this time, we know of at least one other party who has received data from this former employee and this transfer is part of this ongoing investigation,” SLED Director Mark Keel said.
SLED served a search warrant on Yahoo, asking for Lykes’ email records. Investigators said they’re trying to figure out where the Medicaid information went and who else may be involved.
Investigators said Lykes could also face federal charges in connection to the case. SLED continues investigating and working to determine a motive in the case.
Margiotta was arrested this week for the computer crime. He was arrested for making the threatening comments the same day he was laid off.
While working at the hospital, Margiotta told police he compiled a list of user names and passwords for all administrators, according to court records. He also said he used those accounts to access the hospital computer system.
MD. passes nation’s first bill to keep employers from demanding social media passwords from employees www.privateofficer.com
The Biloxi link to the crimes was made public after the arrest Monday of 31-year-old Christopher Patrick Gunn of Montgomery, Ala. Federal court records show the Biloxi Police Department is one of several law enforcement agencies that notified the FBI of Gunn’s alleged activity.
Gunn also is accused of threatening to contact the girls’ parents or school officials if they didn’t send him sexually explicit pictures or if they refused to talk with him via Skype video calls. In other instances, he allegedly used “spoofing” technology to call them so it appeared the call was coming from their school.
A criminal complaint filed by an FBI agent in Alabama alleges Gunn, for more than a year, created fake Facebook profiles under several names while he befriended young girls over the Internet.
He sent “friend requests” or chat messages to more than 250 girls in the Montgomery area alone within a four-month period in 2011, the complaint said.
Authorities believe he also targeted girls in Biloxi, Prattville, Ala., and Livingston Parish, La.
Biloxi police in September told the FBI of complaints involving a fake profile under the name of Dalton Powers. In other regions, the fake names used were Tyler Mielke, Jason Lempke, C.J. Harper, Dalton Walthers, Daniel Rodgers and Justin Babin.
The FBI alleges Gunn began chatting with his new Facebook friends to gain their trust, then asked about the girls’ bra size, asked about their sex life and for pictures of their breasts.
In some instances, Gunn allegedly threatened to email their sexually explicit conversations to their principals or post them on Facebook if they didn’t send him their pictures. Some girls in Prattville received phone calls with the caller ID indicating the calls came from their high school when the calls reportedly were from Gunn.
Biloxi police and other officials uncovered an IP address where the communications were coming from and reported their findings to the FBI. In some of the incidents, Gunn allegedly sent the messages from a Montgomery home as he visited a friend who was house-sitting while the owners were out of town.
In other incidents, Gunn reportedly used the wireless network at his father’s house in Livingston Parish, La.
The complaint said authorities seized his computers and cellphone, and found child-porn videos on his computer hard drive along with sexually explicit pictures of minors.
Some of the pictures reportedly are of girls ages 12, 14 and 15, two of whom were filmed while performing lewd acts on a web cam.
Gunn is held without bond pending further court action. His case is being prosecuted in federal court in Montgomery.
Chicago IL March 30 2012 - Ramon Bedolla works security at Chicago’s Little Village High School, in the heart of one of Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods.
That’s why we wanted to ask him about his Facebook page. It’s packed with references to gang banging, threats against rival gangs, and numerous references slamming cops.
That sort of behavior is not what’s usually expected from a guy getting paid with tax dollars to protect children.
Placko: “Are you a gang member?”
Bedolla: “I don’t have to answer that.”
Placko: “Excuse me?
Bedolla: “I ain’t answering that.”
Placko: “You’re not answering that?”
Placko: “What do you mean here when you wrote ‘ya finballs better look out we gon’ be hittin ya n-words hard,’ What is that?”
Bedolla: “I ain’t answering no questions.”
Placko: “Is it appropriate to be putting this kind of stuff on the internet when you work at Chicago Public Schools?”
Bedolla: The cops, they ain’t doing their jobs anyway.”
Placko: “Not doing their jobs, what do you mean?”
Bedolla: Letting everybody get away with sh**.”
Neighborhood sources said “finballs” is a reference to the Latin Kings gang. Bedolla lists a rival gang, “Two-Six,” as a “like” on his Facebook page. He also talks about wearing black and beige, the “Two-Six” colors.
However, friends of Bedolla said it’s just Facebook, and it doesn’t mean anything.
“That’s Facebook! Everybody puts stupid sh** on Facebook!” Jennifer Salgado, a lifelong friend of Bedolla’s said.
Last week Salgado’s brother Ramon, nicknamed “Munchie,” was killed in a Little Village alley due to an escalating gang war. You can still see the bullet hole in a garage door.
Salgado said her brother and Bedolla were best friends. She defends his Facebook threats as nothing more than pain and frustration.
“He’s a good kid. I’ve known him since we were young,” Salgado said. “Everything’s gang material around here, everything. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not a teacher that’s a gang member.”
Bedolla has been arrested twice by Chicago police, including back in 2009 after a gang fight. During that arrest he allegedly told officers he was a “Two-Six” member.
A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said Bedolla is not actually a security guard, but part of the community watch program. He was hired by a security company that has a contract with CPS. The district said in a statement:
“The behaviors demonstrated here are not to be tolerated and upon becoming aware of this, the contractor has moved to immediately terminate this individual.”
Mandeville LA March 28 2012 An eighth-grade student at Monteleone Junior High School near Mandeville, Louisiana, was arrested after threatening on Facebook to kill fellow students on campus Monday, The Times-Picayune reports.
Just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, the student, who lives in Lacombe, allegedly wrote on his personal Facebook page, “Your (sic) all gonna die when I see you tomorrow … except for my list of survivors … lol.”
He later posted a numbered list of six survivors. Under No. 7, he wrote, “I will think of the rest later.”
The student was arrested on one count of terrorizing. He has been transferred to the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Facility and is being held there pending a 72-hour hearing.
Pastor of one of the oldest black churches in the South arrested on sex crimes www.privateofficer.com
PETERSBURG, Va. –March 15 2012
The pastor of one of the oldest black churches in the South was arrested late Tuesday night on charges of using a communication device to facilitate sex with a minor, Petersburg police said today.
Curtis Glendell Mathews, 50, pastor of Springfield Baptist Church in Dinwiddie County, was arrested about 11:45 p.m. at his home in the 7700 block of Rolling Hill Road in Hopewell, police spokeswoman Esther Hyatt said in a release.
He was charged with two counts of using a communication device to facilitate sex with a minor. A guardian of the unidentified teen notified police and authorities initiated an investigation, Hyatt said.
Details of the allegations were not released.
Mathews is being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail.
According to the church’s website, Springfield Baptist Church was organized in 1867 and is considered one of the oldest black churches in the South.
Source:Richmond Times Daily
CHESTERFIELD, VA March 10 2012 - A Chesterfield doctor has been arrested in a federal internet sex sting. The FBI nabbed 57-year-old Paul David Hite. He’s accused of wanting to meet up with children for sex.
Dr. Hite is a licensed anesthesiologist in Virginia and had privileges at Johnston-Willis Hospital. The federal criminal complaint against him is so graphic. We can’t even share most of the details. The allegations made his neighbor cringe.
The internet sex crime allegations against Midlothian Dr. Hite, not only shocked but sickened Doug Sinclair who lives on Old Gun Road not far from Hite’s house.
“Here’s a man who’s a doctor. What was he thinking,” said Sinclair.
So disgusted, Sinclair couldn’t finish reading a sexually explicit search warrant affidavit.
“Oh man, talk about detail. That is very disturbing,” said Sinclair.
The six page federal complaint is far worse. It outlines an alleged internet chat last month between Hite and an undercover Washington, D.C. officer who asked Hite if he’d ever had sex with a minor.
According to the complaint, Hite replied “Years ago, none in ages.”
It said the two chatted for days about having sex with two children, including the officer’s 3-year-old nephew.
Hite wrote “Would love to help you with him sometime.”
They discussed using Benadryl to make the sexual playtime easier and to distort the boy’s recollection.
Hite pressed for quote “Real time with him.”
On Valentine’s day, the two spoke by phone agreeing to meet. Hite was arrested days later in D.C.
“I don’t have any children, but if I did I’d be very concerned about that for my children and I am for anyone else,” said Sinclair.
Back on February 17th, the feds went in to Hite’s home on Old Gun Road with a search warrant. According to court documents they left with a computer, camera and soiled children’s clothing.
I wanted to see if anyone else lived at Hite’s home. I knocked on the door with no luck.
Johnston Willis Hospital revoked Hite’s privileges after hearing about the charge from his now former employer, Commonwealth Anesthesia Associates. Hite is charged by the feds with attempted enticement of a minor.
Right now, he’s being held in the D.C. Metro jail awaiting his court date which has not yet been set.
Four Washington state men sent to federal prison for rolling back odometers on cars sold on Craigslist www.privateofficer.com
TACOMA WA March 3 2012 – Four Puyallup men are headed to federal prison for their roles in a scheme to roll back odometers on cars and then sell them on Craigslist.
In federal court in Tacoma, prosecutors said the group lopped off an average of 95,000 miles on each car they sold and handed to unsuspecting buyers the keys to potentially dangerous vehicles.
Robert Ristick, Miller Stevens and Stanley Stevens were each sentenced to four years in prison Friday. Ricky Ristick was sentenced to 18 months in prison. All the men live in Puyallup and many of the vehicles were sold in that area.
Justice has been a long time in coming for many victims. The KING 5 Investigators first exposed the crime ring in 2006.
Federal authorities announced they were opening an investigation soon after. It took nearly six years to complete the case.
Charging documents state the men rolled back the mileage on 75 cars but authorities believe the number actually involved hundreds, if not thousands, of cars and trucks.
Atlanta GA Feb 29 2012 Atlanta police have arrested a man believed to be responsible for selling more than 100 stolen cars on Craigslist and are seeking information from his customers.
Lt. Rick Mason of the department’s Auto Theft Task Force said Marcus Deangelo Haliburton, 22, has sold 198 items over the last two years using the online marketplace – mostly vehicles and electronics. .
“We believe that the majority of the vehicles he has sold on Craigslist are in fact stolen,” Mason said. “He’s misrepresenting the vehicle that’s being sold with one that’s on a dealership’s lot.”
Investigators believe Haliburton posted photos and details of from auto dealer Web sites, and stole similar cars to sell, Mason said.
Police said Haliburton provided a VIN number, car repair history and other details on Craigslist and often delivered the vehicle in the Buckhead area.
Mason said the suspect allegedly was always in a hurry, advertising the need to sell the car “ASAP” or as a salvaged vehicle. He would also significantly short-sell the vehicle.
“If you [did] purchase the vehicle, what he’s done in the past is offer the vehicle for $9,000,” Mason said. “When he delivers, he may ask for $4,000 and says, ‘I forgot the title … I’ll bring it to you tomorrow [for the rest of the money].’”
But he would never show, pocketing the cash and leaving the buyer with what Mason called a “worthless vehicle.”
Haliburton was arrested last week on charges of auto theft, theft by taking and giving police false statements. He was being held in the Fulton County jail with bond set at $12,500, according to jail records.
“He was caught because he sold a car to somebody who kept all of his information … and discovered the car was stolen when he tried to have it registered,” Mason said.
Police have linked Haliburton to a specific number of stolen vehicles.
“But we feel that there are a lot more out there,” Mason said. “And there are many unsuspecting people who have purchased a car from Mr. Haliburton.”
Police are seeking the public’s help in determining how many stolen vehicles Haliburton allegedly sold.
“If you have purchased a vehicle from Mr. Haliburton, I would ask you to call the regional Auto Theft Task Force,” Mason said. “Allow us to at least inspect your vehicle to make sure it’s not stolen … that the VIN plate hasn’t been flipped.”
Mason also said it is important for customers to call police because they could face legal problems.
“With you calling us, it’ll give you the opportunity to avoid going to jail for possession of a stolen vehicle,” Mason said. “If we find the vehicle has been stolen, you will not be charged.”
Customers, however, won’t get to keep the vehicle, Mason said.
Anyone who may have purchased a car from Haliburton is asked to call the Atlanta Police at 404-546-4205.
Portland man accused of posting ads on Internet inviting men to have sex with ex-girlfriend www.privateofficer.com
PORTLAND OR Feb 24 2012 - A Portland man is charged with identity theft after his ex-girlfriend told police he put ads on Craigslist, asking men to come over and have sex with her.
Andre Flom, 31, was arrested Tuesday after police said they verified more than 40 postings on Craigslist and other media sites came from him between November 2011 to January 2012.
The posts appeared to be from Catlin Moser herself, but they were not. They listed her name, phone number and address and invited men to contact her for sexual encounters. She told KGW as many as 50 men came to her home each night, knocking on her door on the days the postings with her address appeared. She said others would call or text.
One of the ads said “Having a party tonight at my house! Encourage single guys to come…”
“It made me really worried for my safety because, you know, what am I going to do if a few of them show up at a time? You know there’s always the possibility of being raped,” Moser said.
She has changed her phone number four times and fears she will have to move.
The Craigslist posts also invited people to dig up her landscaping plants, plus disassemble and remove a play structure in her yard.
A detective on the case said the posts began after Flom was convicted in October of domestic violence against Moser. She told KGW Flom tried to strangle her and then she filed a restraining order against him. But the computer crimes did not fall under prohibited contacts.
Police do believe he’s violated other laws. Flom was charged with 10 counts each of computer crime and identity theft. He was being held at the Multnomah County Jail on $30,000 bail.
The victim has taken safety precautions as a result of the situation.