Aug 162014

SEATTLE — A federal magistrate, citing a possible flight risk, on Friday ordered accused Russian hacker Roman Seleznev held without bail pending his October trial on charges.


During the hearing, prosecutors revealed that a laptop computer seized from Seleznev at the time of his arrest contains 2.1 million stolen credit card numbers.

Seleznev, also known as “Track2,” was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Western District of Washington on March 3, 2011, and the indictment was unsealed on July 7, 2014. Seleznev is charged in connection with operating several carding forums, which are websites where criminals gather to sell stolen credit card numbers, and hacking into retail point of sale systems and installing malicious software on the systems to steal credit card numbers.

Read more on q13Fox.

Aug 152014

Insider breaches in restaurants is a global problem, but this may be the first report of its kind I can remember seeing from China. Ke Jiayun reports:

City restaurant and entertainment venue staff are among 51 people held in connection with a nationwide forged bank card network said to have netted nearly 10 million yuan (US$1.62 million).

Six people were held in Shanghai and 46 in southern China’s Guangdong Province in a joint police operation.

Waiting staff in restaurants and entertainment venues in Xuhui District and the Pudong New Area are suspected of stealing diners’ card information, including credit card and debit card, using special devices, said police.

Unlike situations where card numbers are used immediately, these thieves seemed to have done some research and bided their time:

Police found that account information had been copied last November when the victim used his card to pay at a local restaurant.

According to police, network members then discovered that their victim had bought a financial product that would bring him a big interest payment in March.

They allegedly waited four months and once the interest payment was deposited made two transfers using the forged details in March.

The restaurants at which the customer data theft occurred were not named in this news report and only one of the suspects was named, but reports that The suspects were held on May 20 and “More than 1,000 pieces of bank card information were found with 25 special POS machines seized.”

Read more on Shanghai Daily.

Aug 142014

From WILM:

A rental car employee is accused of stealing customers’ identities. Karlvin Zidor is charged with stealing credit card information while working at Enterprise Rent A Car in Milford. The investigation started with Henrico County Police in Virginia, who determined an identity theft ring was getting information from someone in Delaware. Zidor is charged with felony identity theft and lying to law enforcement.

Read more on WILM.

Aug 142014

J.D. Tuccille writes:

The geniuses at the Internal Revenue Service gave sensitive data on over a million taxpayers to a printing contractor wiout checking the bona fides of any of the contractor’s employees, says the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The news comes from a report dated last month but just released to the public. This and several similar screw-ups “exposes taxpayers to increased risk of fraud and identity theft.”

Read more on Reason.

Aug 142014

Phil W. Hudson reports:

Sean Lydell Street, 39, a former Richmond County, Ga., Deputy Sheriff, was sentenced Aug. 12 to two years in prison for stealing personal identification information to be used as part of a fraudulent tax refund scheme.

Street worked for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office from 2007 through 2012 and during the last part of 2011 and the first part of 2012, he used the personal identification information of more than 100 people, which he got through his work as a law enforcement officer, to create a list containing the name, birthdate, and social security number of each person, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Read more on Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Aug 132014

Fourteen individuals were charged in three indictments in Puerto Rico with conspiracy to commit identification fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft and passport fraud in connection with their alleged roles in a scheme to traffic the identities and corresponding identity documents of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez for the District of Puerto Rico, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Winkowski of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Criminal Investigation Division (IRSCID) and Director Bill Miller of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) made the announcement.

The multi-count indictments were returned by a federal grand jury on Aug. 6, 2014. Since that time, five of the defendants have been found and arrested (four in Puerto Rico and one in Florida). They will be arraigned in federal court this week. Arrest warrants have been issued for the remaining defendants, who will make their initial appearances in federal court in the districts in which they are arrested.

According to the indictments, from at least July 2008 through April 2014, conspirators in the mainland United States and in Puerto Rico sold the identities and corresponding Social Security cards, Puerto Rico birth certificates and other identification documents of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens to undocumented aliens and others residing in the mainland United States.

Specifically, the indictments allege that individuals located in the Caguas, Rio Piedras and San Juan areas of Puerto Rico (suppliers) obtained Puerto Rican identities and corresponding identity documents, and conspirators in various locations in the United States (identity brokers) solicited customers for those identities and documents. The identity brokers allegedly sold the identities and documents to the customers for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set of Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates.

According to the indictment, the identity brokers ordered the identity documents from the suppliers by making coded telephone calls, including using terms such as “shirts,” “uniforms” or “clothes” to refer to identity documents. The suppliers generally requested that the identity brokers send payment for the documents through a money transfer service to names provided by the suppliers. The conspirators frequently confirmed payee names and addresses, money transfer control numbers and trafficked identities via text messaging. The suppliers allegedly retrieved the payments from the money transfer service and sent the identity documents to the brokers using express, priority or regular U.S. Mail.

According to the indictments, once the identity brokers received the identity documents, they delivered the documents to the customers and obtained the remaining payment from the customers. The brokers generally kept the second payment for themselves as profit. Some identity brokers allegedly assumed a Puerto Rican identity themselves and used that identity in connection with the trafficking operation.

As alleged in the indictments, the customers generally obtained the identity documents to assume the identity of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and obtain additional identification documents, such as state driver’s licenses. Some customers allegedly obtained the documents to commit financial fraud and others attempted to obtain U.S. passports.
The indictments alleges that various identity brokers were operating in Indianapolis, Columbus and Seymour, Indiana; Aurora, Illinois; Bartow, Florida; Lawrenceville, Jonesboro and Norcross, Georgia; Salisbury, Maryland; Columbus, Ohio; Lawrence and Springfield, Massachusetts; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Houston, Texas; Guymon, Oklahoma; Huron, South Dakota and Albertville, Alabama.

The charges announced today are the result of Operation Island Express II, an ongoing, nationally-coordinated investigation led by the ICE-HSI Chicago Office and USPIS, DSS and IRS-CID offices in Chicago, in coordination with the ICE-HSI San Juan Office. The Illinois Secretary of State Police provided substantial assistance. The ICE-HSI Attaché office in the Dominican Republic, National Drug Intelligence Center – Document and Media Exploitation Branch and International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) provided invaluable assistance, as well as various ICE, USPIS, DSS and IRS CI offices around the country.

The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, with the assistance of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section, and the support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.

Anyone who believes that their identity may have been compromised by the crimes that are the subject of to this investigation may contact the ICE toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) and its online tip form at . Anyone who may have information about particular crimes in this case should report it to the ICE tip line or website.

Anyone who believes that they have been a victim of identity theft, or wants information about preventing identity theft, may obtain helpful information and complaint forms on various government websites including the Federal Trade Commission ID theft website, . Additional resources regarding identity theft can be found at D_theft/idtheft.html ; ; ; and,,id=186436,00.html .

An indictment is merely a formal accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

SOURCE: Department of Justice