Everyone has heard of the internet, a.k.a. surface web. Many have heard of Google’s Incognito method of secretly accessing the internet. There’s also the deep web and the dark web. At the end of this post, I’ve included a short 5 minute YouTube video by CNBC on “What is the Dark Web?” The Dark Web played in integral part in this true-crime case. #darkweb #truecrime
This ringleader was also the head of the family. To grow the business to what it was when the feds became involved, he enlisted his son, his daughter, and a few other unrelated people.
Local police responded to a call about illegal cock fighting at the home of the ringleader. Noticeable to the officers was evidence of an illegal check cashing business.
Federal law enforcement took over the case and found that the father and daughter purchased from the dark web - names, dates of birth, addresses, and social security numbers for people. The son used the information to access those people’s bank accounts and change the contact phone number to one the family controlled. He also downloaded signed checks by the account holder to use as a template for counterfeit checks.
Once they had the counterfeit checks, they found people to go into the banks and cash the checks. Revenue from the illegal business had grown to more than $2 million. The father had spent some of the money on luxury items, a 39-foot powerboat, and luxury cars.
After their arrests, and guilty pleas, the court sentenced the father to over 10-years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The court also ordered the father to pay $1.8 million in restitution to the victims.
The other sentences:
Ringleader’s son, 4+ years in prison and pay more than $1.8 million in restitution.
An associate, 4+ years in prison and pay more than $1.8 million in restitution.
An associate, 3+ years in prison and pay more than $1.8 million in restitution.
Ringleader’s daughter, 2-years in prison and forfeit her home.
Here’s a short 5 minute YouTube video by CNBC on “What is the Dark Web?” Sorry, there are ads.
Be sure to email me if you hear of a true-crime you think would be good in a book. I’ll research it, share it and possibly use it one of my novels.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, Miami Herald, CNBC