Credit Card Fraud Ring Busted


Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Janice K. Fedarcyk, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the largest coordinated international law enforcement action in history directed at “carding” crimes – offenses in which the Internet is used to traffic in and exploit the stolen credit card, bank account, and other personal identification information of hundreds of thousands of victims globally.  Today’s coordinated action – involving 13 countries including the United States – resulted in 24 arrests, including the domestic arrests of 11 individuals by federal and local authorities in the United States, and the arrests of 13 individuals abroad by foreign law enforcement in seven countries.  In addition, the federal and local authorities, and authorities overseas, today conducted more than 30 subject interviews, and executed more than 30 search warrants.  Today’s coordinated actions result from a two-year undercover operation led by the FBI that was designed to locate cybercriminals, investigate and expose them, and disrupt their activities.

Eleven individuals were arrested today, and one last night, in the United States: CHRISTIAN CANGEOPOL, a/k/a “404myth,” was arrested today in Lawrenceville, Georgia, MARK CAPARELLI, a/k/a “Cubby,” was arrested in San Diego, California;  SETH HARPER, a/k/a “Kabraxis314,” was arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico; ALEX HATALA a/k/a “kool+kake,” was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida; JOSHUA HICKS, a/k/a “OxideDox,” was arrested in Bronx, New York; MICHAEL HOGUE a/k/a “xVisceral,” was arrested in Tucson, Arizona; MIR ISLAM, a/k/a “JoshTheGod,” was arrested in Manhattan, New York; PETER KETCHUM, a/k/a “IwearaMAGNUM,” was arrested in Pittsfield, Massachusetts; STEVEN HANSEN a/k/a “theboner1,” was arrested in Wisconsin, where he is currently serving a prison sentence on state charges.  In addition, two minors, whose names will not be made public, were arrested by local authorities in Long Beach and Sacramento, California.  HICKS and ISLAM will be presented later today before a magistrate judge in the Southern District of New York.  The other federally arrested defendants will be presented before magistrate judges in the corresponding federal districts of arrest.

Another 13 individuals were arrested today in seven foreign countries.  Eleven of those individuals were arrested as a result of investigations commenced in foreign jurisdictions based in part on information arising out of the undercover operation and provided by the FBI to foreign law enforcement.  Those 11 arrests occurred in: the United Kingdom (6 arrests), Bosnia (2), Bulgaria (1), Norway (1), and Germany (1).  Two additional defendants were arrested today in foreign countries based on provisional arrest warrants obtained by the United States in connection with Complaints unsealed today in the Southern District of New York.  Those two individuals are: ALI HASSAN, a/k/a/ “Badoo,” who was arrested in Italy; and LEE JASON JUESHENG, a/k/a “iAlert,” a/k/a “Jason Kato,” who was arrested in Japan.  Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Macedonia conducted interviews, executed search warrants, or took other coordinated action in connection with today’s takedown, including.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit.  AUSAs James Pastore, Serrin Turner, Timothy Howard, Rosemary Nidiry, Alexander Wilson, and Sarah McCallum, are in charge of the prosecution.

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