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Complex cybercrime ring headed by Orlando teen stole $350K of merchandise, Florida Attorney General says | Orlando Area News | Orlando | #cybercrime | #infosec

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An Orlando teenager headed a cybercrime ring that used stolen online identities to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise, the Florida Attorney General’s Office said in a statement released Thursday.

He and five others, all in their teens, were arrested for the criminal enterprise after Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shut down the complex cybercrime operation, according to the statement.

The leader of the group allegedly used cryptocurrency to buy bundles of stolen personal information off the dark web to then open credit cards and bank accounts in victims’ names. He and the group used this information to illicitly purchase more than $350,000 worth of merchandise, which included firearm parts and ammunition. They then sold the items to pawn shops in the Orlando area for cash, the statement says.

The multi-circuit investigation began when FDLE special agents received a complaint from a business owner who suspected the lead defendant of stealing almost $90,000. Further investigation revealed that the teen “criminally victimized more than 70 citizens and 10 online merchants in a massive criminal scheme.”

“The mastermind behind this complex cyber fraud scheme thought he could avoid detection by using stolen identities and cryptocurrency to conceal the crimes,” the statement reads.

The group is now facing charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. The charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering consist of more than 90 predicate incidents including criminal use of personal identification information, money laundering, extortion and dealing in stolen property.

The lead defendant also faces additional charges of grand theft, extortion and criminal use of personal identification information of more than 30 persons. If convicted, he could spend up to 135 years in prison.

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