A 22-year-old Phoenix man was sentenced to 20 years in prison and told to pay $20 million in restitution for racketeering charges stemming from his role in the Carder.su cyber fraud crime organization.
David Ray Camez, known as “doctorsex” and “Bad Man” in the scheme, was found guilty of one count of participating and one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO) last December. And today, U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon handed down a sentence, which also includes three years of supervised release, that capped a seven-year investigation by federal, state and local agencies.
The U.S. Secret Service working in concert with Homeland Security Investigations and a bevy of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies participating in the Southwestern Identity Theft and Fraud Task Force (SWIFT), first detected a pattern of credit and debit fraud theft in March 2007.
A special agent going undercover soon infiltrated Carder.su as a member. The investigation, known as Open Market, soon discovered that the Russian crime organization's members were part of large-scale scheme to traffic compromised credit card data, counterfeit identifications, launder money, traffic narcotics and other crimes.
Camez landed on authorities' radar in 2007, when, at just 17, he bought a fake Nevada driver's license from the undercover agent. His attorney argued vigorously in court last December that Camez was not responsible for the $50 million in losses that the government claimed but a Justice Department attorney noted that he was a “prolific participant.”
He is currently serving a seven-year prison term in Arizona for similar activity, according to a report in the Las Vegas-Review Journal.
The Camez case is being called the first time prosecutors have applied racketeering laws to a cyber crime group, the Review Journal report said. Authorities charged 38 others in an indictment returned in January of 2012 — seven of those accused have pleaded guilty, two others are set to go to trial in June and the remainder are on the lam. Another 16 defendants were charged in three other separate indictments.
The operation is part of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) initiative, created by President Obama in November 2009, aimed at investigating and prosecuting financial crimes.