Next on the list of the IRS top ten identity theft cases of 2015 involves members of the notorious “CARDER.SU” online crime forum.
CARDER.SU members Jason Maclaskey (age 36) and Omar Butt (age 32)
Texas and other locations throughout the U.S.
What they did
They obtained and used the personal identification information of 371 taxpayers to file false returns. They set up bank accounts at Inter National Bank in the taxpayers’ names to which over $1.4 million in tax refunds were to be directed. Before they were apprehended, they succeeded in withdrawing roughly $300,000 from these accounts through ATMS and NetSpend debit card purchases.
How they did it
Maclaskey (aka “That Guy”), Omar Butt (aka “Fear”), Billy Steffley (aka “Oink Oink”, “Fredflintstone” and “Yomamma”) along with others were indicted in 2012. These individuals were members of the “CARDER.SU” organization, a crime forum which engages in trafficking stolen IDs and counterfeit access devices online, identity theft and financial fraud. Another indictment against 55 members of the organization was unsealed by the U.S. government in April of 2014.
CARDER.SU apparently used website forums, chat rooms, proxies, VPNs, ICQ chats, and encrypted emails to arrange meeting locations and drop sites for contraband items. Money, counterfeit driver’s licenses, and access devices (a series of Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express account numbers) were manufactured and/or stolen, and then transferred via interstate wires and through the mail to various locations throughout the U.S. A number of usurped credit card accounts were accompanied by the owner’s AOL login name and password.
Maclaskey and Butt plead guilty to the following charges:
- Conspiracy to defraud the United States under 18, U.S. Code Section 371.
- Theft of government funds under 18 U.S. Code Section 641.
- Aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 1028A(a)(1).
Maclaskey received a 10 year sentence and 3 years of supervised release. Butt will serve 40 months. They were also ordered to pay restitution of $314,868. They were the last of the CARDER.SU group that was subject to the indictment to be sentenced.
Note that Maclaskey received another 5 years for possession of a stolen firearm.
San Francisco tax crimes lawyers
Nearly all federal government prosecutions of identity theft result in criminal sentences. If you are under investigation, contact the law offices of Moskowitz LLP today.