Cryptocurrencies

An Australian man has been sentenced to two years in prison for online identity theft, including…

An Australian man has been sentenced to two years in prison for online identity theft, including using fake documents to create online cryptocurrency accounts.

On June 21, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) announced that a 31-year-old Australian man had been convicted in the Melbourne District Court. The man was charged following an international investigation into a website selling technology enabling fraud linked to the theft of more than A$1 million ($670,000) from victims.

Operation Stonefish uncovers cybercrime network

The Australian armed forces launched Operation Stonefish in August 2022 after British authorities investigated a website offering identity theft services for as little as £20. The site facilitated identity theft and financial fraud.

Report Cyber, an Australian Commonwealth Government cybercrime reporting website, received a complaint from a victim in New South Wales regarding the creation of an unauthorized bank account.

Source: Australian Federal Police

AFP investigations revealed that the Australian opened accounts at two cryptocurrency exchange companies using fake driving licenses with the real victims’ details and his own photo.

Arrest and confiscation of evidence

In November 2022, officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines executed a search warrant at the man’s home in Boronia. They confiscated blank and falsified driving licenses, a missing passport and various cards in other people’s names.

Authorities also found an encrypted messaging platform on the man’s computer containing discussions about identity-related crimes and instruction manuals on creating false documents. The man refused to provide access codes to his devices during the search.

Detective Superintendent Tim Stainton highlighted the serious consequences of identity theft. he said:

“Theft of a person’s identity can have serious consequences for victims and is a serious criminal offense punishable by lengthy prison sentences. »

“A stolen identity and the use of associated fraudulent documents can have a devastating impact on people’s lives if they are sold online or used for criminal purposes,” Stainton added.

about: Cop Busted $40,000 Bitcoin ATM Scam by Chase Bank Impersonator

Conviction and sentence

The Australian was found guilty of multiple charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and the country’s penal code. These included providing false information, dealing with the proceeds of crime, producing and possessing false documents and failing to comply with a court order.

He was sentenced to two years in prison, including ten months without the possibility of parole. The authorities stressed that this case highlights the far-reaching consequences of online identity theft and the importance of international cooperation in combating such crimes.

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