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Man Jailed 2 Years for Identity Fraud in Crypto Exchange Sign-Ups

Harvey Hunter
Last updated: | 2 min read
Man Jailed 2 Years for Identity Fraud in Crypto Exchange Sign-Ups

An Australian man received a two-year prison sentence for cyber-enabled identity fraud, involving the creation of online cryptocurrency accounts using counterfeit documents.

On June 21, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) reported that a 31-year-old Aussie man was sentenced at the Melbourne County Court.

Initially, Report Cyber, an Australian Commonwealth Government site for cybercrime reporting, received a complaint from a victim in New South Wales about an unauthorized bank account creation.

AFP inquiries found the perpetrator used fake driver’s licenses, with real victims’ details and his photo, to open accounts on two cryptocurrency exchanges.

Operation Stonefish Unveils Cybercrime Network

This arrest followed an international investigation into a website selling fraud-enabling technology, which facilitated theft totaling over $670,000 from victims.

The AFP initiated “Operation Stonefish” in August 2022. This followed a UK investigation into a website that offered spoofing services, for as little as $25.

Once subscribed, the site allowed users to conduct fraudulent activities. These services included making robo-calls, sending one-time pins, and employing other deceptive services to facilitate scams.

Analysis revealed Australia was a popular target for users of the website. As a result, the two authorities have collaborated to identify victims of the site and potential users in Australia. This led to the arrest of two other individuals, according to a separate AFP report.

AFP Constable Josh Simpson highlighted the rise of “Cybercrime-as-a-service.” Criminal activities are now available online as purchasable services. This allows anyone with a computer and internet access to commit crimes like identity fraud and theft easily.

Therefore it is vital, now more than ever, that people engaged in cryptocurrency are educated on how to spot and protect themselves against Crypto fraud.

Perpetrator Prosecuted For Identity Fraud and More

IN November 2022, AFP officers searched the man’s home in Boronia. They seized blank and fake drivers licenses, a lost passport, and cards in other people’s names. Also, on his computer, they also found messages on an encrypted messaging platform discussing identity crime and creating false documents.

Consequently, the perpetrator faced multiple charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and the Criminal Code. These included providing false information, handling proceeds of crime, and possessing false documents.

He received a two-year prison sentence, with a non-parole period of 10 months.

Authorities emphasized the case’s significance in highlighting the impact of cyber-enabled identity fraud and the necessity of global cooperation in fighting such offenses. Detective Superintendent Tim Stainton added:

“The theft of someone’s identity can have serious implications for victims and is a serious criminal offense punishable by significant time in prison.”