Jeffrey Steven Girandola and Kajohn Phommavong have been charged in a previously sealed 16-count indictment with Conspiracy, Computer Fraud, Access Device Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft.
According to the indictment, which was handed up by a federal grand jury in San Diego, the defendants installed peer-to-peer file sharing software on computers under their control and searched the available peer-to-peer file sharing networks for account login information and passwords inadvertently exposed to the file sharing network by other users of the peer-to-peer file sharing software.
The defendants are charged with using the account information and passwords that they obtained by searching the P2P networks to access the bank accounts of the victims and transfer funds to prepaid credit cards which they obtained in their own names. They are alleged to have used the prepaid credit cards to purchase goods and to obtain cash in and around San Diego County. The victims include five users of the online payroll system of the United States Department of Defense (“DoD”). DoD, through its Defense Finance and Accounting Service (“DFAS”) provides an Internet accessible website to DoD personnel, including the Armed Forces, known as “DFAS MyPay,” to view and change information relating to their paychecks and other benefits.
According to the indictment, the defendants accessed the accounts of the five individuals, consisting of active duty military, retired military and a civilian employee of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and re-directed their paychecks to the defendants’ prepaid credit card accounts. The defendants also are charged with victimizing a company in Florida that is in the business of selling products to assist senior citizens. All together, during the commission of these offenses from November 22, 2005, until September 12, 2006, according to the indictment, the defendant redirected and attempted to redirect over $20,000 in funds to themselves.
Bail was set at $20,000 for Mr. Phommavong. His next appearance will be on January 8, 2010, before United States District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller for hearing motions and setting a trial date. Mr. Girandola’s appearance will be arranged with the County of San Diego.
Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California