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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 7, 2016

Iranian Citizen Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft and Access Device Fraud

 

Gulfport, Miss –Milad Kalantari, 31, an Iranian citizen, pleaded guilty on October 6, 2016 before U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to conspiracy to commit identity theft and access device fraud, as well as substantive access device fraud, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell, U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi and Raymond R. Parmer, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

In June, 2014, HSI Gulfport began an investigation into Milad Kalantari. HSI Gulfport had identified Kalantari as the main facilitator in an international financial fraud organization. Through the course of the investigation, HSI Gulfport identified Kalantari as the owner/operator of numerous websites dedicated to the distribution and sale of stolen/compromised credit card information from victims all over the world, including citizens and banks located in the United States.

Kalantari was ultimately arrested as he made entry into the United States in December 2015, at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

To date, HSI Gulfport has identified approximately 2.5 million credit cards that were sold on Kalantari's websites. The intended loss amount attributable to Kalantari and his organization is currently valued at over $1.2 billion. HSI Gulfport is currently working with Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover to assess the damage and loss amount suffered by U.S. victims and banks, attributable to Kalantari's organization.

Kalantari will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. on January 4, 2017. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.00.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. Senior Counsel Peter Roman of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Helen Wall are prosecuting the case.

Updated October 7, 2016