On 9 April 2019, the United States Attorney’s District of Connecticut office released an official statement about a man imprisoned for stealing Bitcoins in “dark web phishing scheme.” The man in question was identified to be Micheal Richo, from New Haven and formerly Wallingford.
The announcement made by John H. Durham, US Attorney for the District of Connecticut, stated that the 37-year old man was sentenced to 12 months and one-day confinement by U.S District Judge, Vanessa L. Bryant. Along with the imprisonment, Richo will serve three years of special parole for charges related to fraud and money laundering schemes “in connection with a scheme to steal bitcoins in an online phishing scheme.”
The statement further read,
“Judge Bryant also ordered Richo to pay a $10,000 fine and to forfeit various computers and electronic devices, an assortment of precious coins and metals that he bought with the proceeds of his offense, and $352,500 in cash.”
According to the announcement, Richo was involved in an online phishing scheme with the intention of stealing Bitcoin from users on the dark web. This was done by posting fake links of various online marketplaces on various dark net platforms. These links would then redirect to a log in page that would resemble the real online marketplace log in page, thereby, gaining access to the usernames and passwords of those users who attempted to log in on the fake website.
This was followed by Richo withdrawing Bitcoins from those users, once they deposited currencies with the real marketplace, and depositing them in his own wallet. By doing so, the convict gained access to over 10,000 usernames and passwords and Bitcoins worth $365,000.
A statement from the Justice Department stated,
“[…] sold the stolen bitcoins to others in exchange for U.S. currency, which was deposited into bank accounts that he controlled or was provided to him through Green Dot Cards, Western Union transfers, and MoneyGram transfers.”
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