Information for Victims in Large Cases
This case specifically involves the submission of fraudulent applications to receive funds from programs enacted to address needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, from approximately February 2020 to May 2021. The defendants in this case filed fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits and business loans, including in the names of individuals who did not know of or consent to the submissions. In all, well over 800 individuals have been identified as victims in this case. Victims were identified by law enforcement via personally identifiable information (including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers) used by the defendants. Law enforcement then attempted to identify and locate the persons whose information was used. In total the defendants fraudulently obtained over $6 million from this scheme.
Jesse E. Kipf of Somerset, Kentucky, has been charged with computer fraud stemming from data breaches he conducted on a number of state and corporate networks. Kipf obtained credentials to access the private networks of these public and private entities, and through such access, was able to view state constituent and business client personally identifying information. Kipf was also charged with attempting to sell the credentials he used to access these protected networks. The data breaches occurred on the following dates:
1) On or about February 12, 2023, Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment Ltd.
2) On or about June 21, 2023, Kipf breached the protected network of Milestone, Inc.
Kipf specifically accessed networks associated to the above companies’ services provided to hotel chains. These services include the use of the internet during hotel stays or use of hotel websites. To date, investigators have no evidence that Kipf accessed the personally identifying information of hotel customers.
The indictment alleges that the defendant used social media and other forums to conduct a “pump and dump” scheme involving two cryptocurrencies, namely 1CRedit and Belacoin. Marx manipulated the price of, and trading in, 1CRedit and Belacoin cryptocurrencies using materially false statements, deceitful statements of half-truths, and the concealment of material facts in order to defraud investors and obtain illicit proceeds. As a result of this investigation, Marx is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud.
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg along with Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Tampa Field Office, and Special Agent in Charge David Walker, FBI-Tampa Division, announces the arrest and successful extradition from Spain of Alexandru Habasescu (30, Moldova). Habasescu is charged in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to commit access device fraud and substantive counts of access device fraud, for his role as an administrator of the xDedic Marketplace. If convicted on all counts, Habasescu faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. The Indictment also notifies the defendant that the United States is seeking an order of forfeiture of the proceeds and facilitating property of the fraud.
According to public documents, the xDedic Marketplace, established around October 2014, illegally sold login credentials (usernames and passwords) to compromised servers and social security numbers belonging to U.S. citizens. Habasescu, who resided in Chisnau, Moldova, acted as the lead developer and technical mastermind for the Marketplace.
The defendant was a seller on both Slilpp and Paysell (now called Blackpass) using the moniker “Mrtikov.” His overall involvement spanned from at least April 2016 through September 2019 and included listing for sale over 17 million economically valuable accounts of individuals held at various companies and banks. He actually sold over 14,000 sets of login credentials. The people who purchased those login credentials used those credentials to steal money from victim accounts.
Pakhtusov was indicted on 14 counts: Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud and Wire Fraud (Counts One and Two); Bank Fraud (Counts Three and Four); Wire Fraud (Count Five); Access Device Fraud (Count Six); Access Device Fraud (Counts Seven and Eight); and Aggravated Identity Theft (Counts Nine through Fourteen). Pakhtusov was extradited to the United States. On March 12, 2021, Pakhtusov pled guilty to one count of Access Device Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(3) [Count Eight of the Indictment] and three counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A [Counts Nine, Ten, and Eleven of the Indictment]. Pakhtusov is scheduled to be sentenced on September 13, 2023.
On May 3, 2023 an indictment was unsealed charging the conspirators of a nation-wide foreclosure rescue scheme. The defendants marketed themselves as a “law firm” whose “attorneys” could help distressed homeowners remain in their homes. These firms operated through various names: Synergy Law LLC (October 2016 – August 2019); Themis Law LLC (June 2019 – present), and Babbs Law Firm (June 2019 – May 2022).
The indictment alleges that the defendants promoted their “law firm” to homeowners nationwide with mass marketing techniques—websites, advertisements, and call centers. They had the victims sign retainer agreements that required the payment of fixed legal fees every month. The “law firm” then provided no legal services to the victims and, in numerous instances, the victims were forced into bankruptcy or lost their homes to foreclosure. Many victims have reported that they never spoke to a lawyer. As of May 3, 2023, the case is pending.
LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas attorney made his initial appearance on March 31, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna J. Youchah for allegedly orchestrating a Ponzi scheme causing more than 1,000 victim-investors to part with more than $460 million. A federal grand jury returned the indictment on March 29, 2023, charging Matthew Wade Beasley (50) with five counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. A detention hearing was scheduled for April 7, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach. A jury trial was scheduled for June 6, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey. According to allegations contained in the indictment, from about 2017 to March 2022, Beasley falsely represented to another person that he could find plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits who wanted to borrow money against their pending settlements and would pay high interest rates to do so. He created fake contracts to lend money to purported personal injury plaintiffs. Beasley caused others to find investors to invest in these fake contracts. The indictment further alleges that, Beasley caused victim investors to wire transfer their investments to Beasley’s IOLTA account, which is a bank account set up by an attorney to hold client monies. He used the money from the scheme to buy luxury homes, cars, and recreational vehicles.
Virk and his co-conspirators engaged in a scheme to defraud by making false representations to consumers through “pop-up” warnings on their computers. The warnings falsely claimed to detect computer viruses or other security issues and instructed consumers to call a telephone number to fix the purported computer problems. The calls were routed to a call center in the Republic of India, where NTS IT Care, Inc. and NTS Global Services Pvt. Ltd. “sales representatives” used high-pressure tactics to deceive consumers into purchasing fictitious computer support services. Through these deceptive tactics, “sales representatives” convinced consumers to purchase fake and expensive “technical support” packages.
The US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio alleges that between January 1, 2014 – July 19, 2019 Defendants obtained millions of shares in certain public companies at little or no cost and then profited by selling those shares to investors at fraudulent and artificially inflated prices without disclosing their control of those shares or relationship with the companies.
Raccoon Infostealer is malicious software that infects computers and steals personal information, including email addresses, identification numbers, bank account information, and cryptocurrency information. Criminal actors can use the stolen information to commit identity theft, financial fraud, or other crimes. Raccoon Infostealer infected computers in many countries from 2018 through early 2022. Mark Sokolovsky is alleged to be one of the key administrators behind the Raccoon Infostealer. He has been charged with conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, money laundering, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. For more information and resources on Raccoon Infostealer, including a site that can tell you whether your email address may have been stolen, please visit the links below.