22-year-old David Ray Camez, aka “Bad Man,” has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and three years of supervised release for being a member of Carder.su, the notorious identity theft service. In addition, Camez will also have to pay $20 million (€15 million) in restitution.
The man was convicted in December 2013 for participating in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization, and conspiracy to participate in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization.
Back in 2008, Camez became a member of Carder.su, a cybercrime forum which in July 2011 had around 5,500 members. During 2009 and 2010, he purchased fake driver’s licenses from an undercover agent. Investigators also intercepted counterfeit cards sent to Camez by someone from Pakistan.
When his home was raided in May 2010, agents found not only counterfeit payment cards, but also the equipment used to create them. They also discovered fake IDs and counterfeit money.
US authorities charged a total of 55 individuals in the Carder.su case, 39 of which were indicted in January 2012. In addition to Camez, 21 people have already pleaded guilty and two face trial in June. However, many of the suspects are still at large.
Camez was not a mastermind of the operation, yet he still got 20 years in prison. That’s because, as Sophos experts highlighted, he was tried under the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
“The idea of RICO is to make criminal gangs collectively liable for the offences they commit as an organized group,” Sophos’ Paul Ducklin explained.
This means that, while Camez might seem nothing more than a fraudster, he has been convicted as a member of major criminal organization.
“Camez was a member of a vast criminal organization that facilitated rampant cyber fraud throughout the world,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“This organization is the new face of organized crime – a highly structured cyber network operated like a business to commit fraud on a global scale. Members, like Camez, paid to tap into the network and gain control of highly sensitive information, like compromised credit card numbers and stolen identities. Thanks to sophisticated law enforcement efforts, Camez will now pay for his crimes with decades in prison.”
Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles, noted, “As this sentence demonstrates, cyber-criminals who purposely harm innocent Americans and compromise the world’s economic stability will be aggressively pursued, investigated and prosecuted – and ultimately receive the justice they deserve.”