Surprise: Daniel Kaye, operator of The Real Deal, pleads guilty to one count, is sentenced to time served, and is released.
It seems like only weeks ago that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia was trumpeting the arraignment of Daniel Kaye, who had been indicted last year.
Oh wait, it was only weeks ago.
Kaye, also known as “Popopret,” “Bestbuy,” “TheRealDeal,” “Logger,” “David Cohen,” “Marc Chapon,” “UserL0ser,” “Spdrman,” “Dlinch Kravitz,” “Fora Ward,” and “Ibrahim Sahil,” had been indicted on five counts of access device fraud (unauthorized solicitation), one count of access device fraud (using and trafficking in unauthorized access device), two counts of access device fraud (access device fraud (possession of unauthorized and counterfeit access devices), and one count of money laundering conspiracy. He was arraigned on October 25.
Kaye’s connection to the Northern District of Georgia struck DataBreaches as significant because the indictment mentioned Kaye’s connection to The Real Deal Marketplace and thedarkoverlord’s use of that market to sell stolen identity information from victim entities. Some of thedarkoverlord’s victims at the time were medical clinics and practices in the northern district of Georgia.
Significantly, perhaps, the connection to thedarkoverlord is within the description of Count Six of the indictment: access device fraud (using and trafficking in unauthorized access device). That count states:
On or about July 1, 2016, in the Northern District of Georgia and elsewhere, the defendant, DANIEL KAYE, aided and abetted by others unknown to the Grand Jury, including but not limited to an individual using the alias “thedarkoverlord,” knowingly and with intent to defraud, used and trafficked in unauthorized access devices —namely, stolen Social Security numbers — and by such conduct, obtained things of value worth $1,000 or more in a one-year period, said use and trafficking affecting interstate and foreign commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1029(a)(2) and (c)(1)(A)(i) and Section 2.
At his arraignment on October 25, Kaye pleaded not guilty to all counts.
If you expected a long drawn-out procedure hearings, however, you were in for a shock. On November 3, Kaye pleaded guilty to Count 6. As per the court’s standing order, all other counts were dismissed by the court. Kaye’s guilty plea and plea agreement can be accessed on Court Listener.
Kaye was sentenced to time served and supervised release for one year. A special assessment monetary penalty of $100.00 was also imposed, but the monetary assessment was waived because the court determined he did not have the ability to pay it.
So the U.S. got Kaye to the U.S. and then made a plea deal on the one count mentioning thedarkoverlord? What are they getting in exchange for this largesse? Well, technically, they get a “win” because he pleaded guilty and they didn’t have the expense of a lengthy prosecution, but what else are they getting? Are they getting information from him or testimony from him about others involved in The Real Deal?
Currently awaiting trial in the Northern District of Georgia is Robert Purbeck, aka “Lifelock” and “Studmaster.” From court documents filed in that case, and from DataBreaches’ reporting on him, it appears that the FBI believed that he might be thedarkoverlord or involved with thedarkoverlord (Purbeck firmly denies any connection to thedarkoverlord). Will Kaye be providing any testimony about Purbeck if Purbeck’s case does go to trial? Was Purbeck on The Real Deal as “Lifelock” or under any other aliases that could be tied back to his real identity? DataBreaches does not know, but given that Kaye seems to have gotten off extremely easily, DataBreaches would not be surprised if DOJ is getting some helpful information or testimony in return, whether it involves Purbeck or others.