Founder of Purported Cryptocurrency Company Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Prison for Multi-Million-Dollar Fraud Scheme
BOSTON – A Florida man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston in connection with the fraudulent abuse of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Informed Delivery electronic notification system.
Peter Belony, 34, of Margate, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock scheduled sentencing for Sept. 19, 2019. Belony and his co-conspirators, Fred Alcius, Lucson Appolon, and Kevens Louis were charged on April 9, 2019. Co-conspirators Appolon and Louis were arrested on April 16, 2019; Belony was arrested on April 26, 2019; and Alcius remains a fugitive.
Informed Delivery is a free electronic notification service provided by the USPS that gives residential and P.O. Box customers the ability to digitally preview their incoming mail and manage their packages.
According to the indictment, the defendants accessed victims’ personal identifying information, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and addresses on the “dark web” and then used the information to open credit cards in the victims’ names. The defendants then subscribed to Informed Delivery using the victims’ personal identifying information and a fraudulent email address created to track the delivery of credit cards to the victims’ residential mailboxes. The defendants subsequently intercepted the credit cards at the victims’ mailboxes before the victims could receive them and used those credit cards at ATMs and to purchase gift cards and other items for resale at Apple and Walmart, among other retail establishments. The defendants traveled to states across the East Coast in furtherance of the fraud, including New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.
The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office; Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; the Concord, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.), Harvard, Kittery (Maine), Norfolk, Plantation (Fla.), Sherborn, and Weston Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mackenzie A. Queenin of Lelling’s Cybercrime Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.