26 February 2010
The mastermind behind one of the most pernicious online criminal forums in the world has today been jailed for four years and eight months (26 Feb 2010). The site, DarkMarket, was a sophisticated, invitation-only service for buying and selling compromised credit card data and other information and equipment for committing financial fraud. It allowed criminals to collaborate on deals which caused global losses worth tens of millions of pounds.
In the dock alongside Renukanth Subramaniam was 66 year old John McHugh, known online as ‘Devilman’. McHugh was sentenced to two years.
The trial is the latest stage in an international investigation by SOCA, the FBI and the USSS. So far five people have been charged in the UK, and there have been around 60 arrests worldwide.
Key to the case against Subramaniam and McHugh was proving the link between the individuals and the virtual personas of JiLsi and Devilman.
Andy Auld of SOCA’s E-crime team said:
“The legal system doesn’t work against nicknames and email addresses. It works against real names and real addresses”.
Sharon Lemon, Deputy Director of SOCA, said:
“A financial investigation is now underway into the money these men made from their crimes. It’s hard to put a figure on the sums involved now, but we believe that Subramaniam suffered a personal loss of £100,000 in one go linked to deals on a single lost memory stick. SOCA is determined to recover what it can from them. Things don’t end with a conviction.”
For more information on fraud and advice on protecting yourself visit our fraud pages.
You can also now get advice and report fraud via the Action Fraud helpline and website