Network Security

Online ID thief sentenced to 14 years

A man who pleaded guilty on April 4 to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. to 14 years in prison.

Tony Perez III, 21, of Hammond, Ind., stood accused of running a business online that sold counterfeit credit cards embedded with account information purloined from various sources. The sentencing announcement was made on Friday by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Perez used a number of online identities in underground discussion groups which facilitated a market for stolen financial account information, according to court documents.

U.S. Secret Service special agents discovered machinery capable of making counterfeit credit cards and 21,000 stolen credit card numbers and other ancillary data stashed in his computers and email accounts, when they served a search warrant and raided Perez's apartment in June 2010.

In addition, credit card companies have tracked more than $3 million in fraudulent transactions using card numbers found in Perez's possession, court documents said.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and was prosecuted by Michael Stawasz, a senior counsel for the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.