News and Press Releases

PASADENA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING RENTON ON-LINE GAMING COMPANY
Man Used Stolen Identities to Order and Resell Goods From Wizards of the Coast On-Line Store

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2007

AMIR SANDOVAL, 18, of Pasadena, California, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Access Device Fraud and Fraudulent Use of Another Person’s Identity. SANDOVAL executed a complex scheme involving the purchase of stolen credit card information, and the fraudulent purchase and sale of Wizards of the Coast merchandise. SANDOVAL is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on September 28, 2007.

According to the plea agreement, between April 2004, and September 2006, SANDOVAL purchased stolen credit card and identity information from on-line sources. Using that stolen account information, SANDOVAL opened or attempted to open new accounts at the Wizards of the Coast website. SANDOVAL would make purchases of merchandise related to the online game “Magic: The Gathering Online”, using techniques to mask the actual internet address of his computer. SANDOVAL would then resell the merchandise in online chat rooms or on e-Bay. Purchasers would pay SANDOVAL using Pay-pal or Western Union with the money going into accounts SANDOVAL had set up using stolen identities. In all, more than 50 people had their credit card and identity information used illegally, for more than $18,000 in fraudulent online purchases.

Access Device Fraud is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. Fraudulent Use of Another Person’s Identifying information is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. As part of the plea agreement, SANDOVAL has agreed to pay Wizards of the Coast $18,430 in restitution.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Warma as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Computer Hacking and Internet Crimes (CHIPS) Task Force.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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