Cops Bust Brooklyn Cybergang
A Brooklyn-based cybercrime ring responsible for around $1 million in fraudulent purchases from Apple stores around the country has been taken down.
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday (Feb. 2) that 27 people had been indicted in connection with S3, an identity-theft ring that illegally obtained hundreds of credit-card numbers and used them to buy and resell popular Apple products .
From June 2008 through December 2010, the members of S3 allegedly bought the stolen credit card numbers and identities from online data traffickers and a Web portal selling stolen information.
The gang recruited a team of shoppers, who bought products such as iPods, MacBooks, iPads and gift cards from stores in 13 states, including New York, Florida, Wisconsin, Alabama and Nevada.
The fraudulently purchased Mac products were then sold for cash at below retail cost to several different people in Brooklyn, who then resold the goods at a profit.
Prosecutors said the cybergang was led by 28-year-old Shaheed Bilal.
The New York County District Attorney's Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and the U.S. Secret Service carried out the investigation. During a Feb. 1 bust, authorities recovered three firearms, ammunition, tools to manufacture credit cards and $300,000 in cash and bank account holdings.
This case demonstrates the dangers of organized computer crime," said District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. Today we have effectively dismantled a significant criminal operation that preyed upon innocent victims around the world. By working with our partners in law enforcement, we will continue to use all available tools to root out cybercrime in New York City and beyond.