Cryptojacker conned $3.5M from cloud firms to mine crypto, feds allege

A man in the United States is accused by prosecutors of defrauding two cloud computing companies and faces charges for wire fraud and money laundering. If found guilty, he could spend up to 50 years behind bars for operating an illegal “cryptojacking” scheme on a large scale.

On April 15, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn accused Charles O. Parks III, also known as “CP3O,” of defrauding two companies out of $3.5 million. With these funds, he allegedly mined approximately $970,000 worth of cryptocurrencies, such as Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR). Instead of paying for the use of the companies’ resources, Parks reportedly kept these mining profits for himself.

Cryptojacking refers to the unauthorized use of resources like computer processing power or electricity by an entity for cryptocurrency mining. Certain types of malware can introduce mining software that quietly drains a minimal amount of resources from a network of computers.

On the 13th of April, in Nebraska, Parks was taken into custody and accused of committing wire fraud, laundering funds, and conducting illegal financial transactions.

He could spend up to 50 years in prison in total if found guilty, and he’s scheduled to stand trial before the federal court in Omaha on April 16.

According to the indictment, Parkes is accused of establishing several accounts with a subsidiary based in Seattle, Washington, of “Company 1,” which specializes in cloud computing and consumer electronics. Similarly, he allegedly set up accounts with “Company 2” from Redmond, Washington, known for producing personal computers and related services.

During the period from January to August 2021, it is claimed that Parks created several false identities using different names, corporate titles, and email addresses. Some of these identities were linked to businesses he had registered himself – MultiMillionaire LLC and CP3O LLC – which he then used to open accounts with various companies.

The indictment asserts that he subsequently requested and fraudulently obtained enhanced permissions and advantages, such as advanced cloud computing services and postponed invoicing arrangements, from the services.

According to prosecutors, Parkes avoided answering questions regarding suspicious data consumption and growing unpaid subscription fees.

Cryptojacker conned $3.5M from cloud firms to mine crypto, feds allege

According to the indictment, Parkes allegedly transferred some of his illegally mined cryptocurrencies through “Cryptocurrency Exchange 1,” claiming to be a “decentralized business without a physical headquarters.”

It is claimed that other funds were reportedly funneled through a payment processor, several bank accounts, and a New York City-based non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace.

To bypass the $10,000 threshold for reporting transactions under federal law, Parkes arranged payments in smaller amounts totaling less than that figure, according to the indictment. Prosecutors alleged they discovered numerous instances of Parkes transferring $9,999 or less from the crypto exchange into his bank account.

Instead of “Prosecutors alleged Parks used the proceeds for ‘extravagant purchases,’ including a luxury Mercedes Benz, jewelry and ‘first-class hotel and travel expenses,'” you could say:

Brooklyn’s U.S. Attorney Breon Peace stated, “We’ll keep focusing on catching crooks who employ advanced tech for age-old scams like deceit and fraud.”

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2024-04-16 05:00