Authorities accused a German man of committing large scale fraud. He allegedly purchased compromised bank accounts on the dark web and used those to transfer funds to his own accounts causing serious damage to the victims.
A 40-year-old man of Gelsenkirchen, North-Rhine Westphalia is standing in court facing charges of large scale fraud. According to the accusation, before the court of Essen, the defendant had purchased stolen bank accounts from dark web vendors and use those to transfer the funds from them to his own accounts. The 40-year-old was investigated by the Bavarian Police who unmasked the illegal activities of the defendant. The victims of the transfer fraud are from all over Germany. The investigation showed that the 40-year-old turned a main focus on Bavaria in his fraudulent activities.
The prosecution stated that the defendant allegedly browsed the dark web where he found that compromised bank accounts were on the sale by multiple marketplace sellers. After a while, the 40-year-old developed a plan, in which he allegedly purchased multiple stolen accounts.
Law enforcement authorities stated that there is an encrypted forum present on the dark web where criminals come up and discuss “business ideas,” ways that help them gain profits from illegal activities. The prosecution claims that the 40-year-old learned the methods used in his criminal operation in the dark web forum. According to the court records, the defendant allegedly purchased thousands of financial records, which were stolen by unsuspecting citizens. The court heard that the 40-year-old received the name, address, account number and the “bank code” of the victims after a successful purchase. The 40-year-old paid for the financial information in bitcoins.
After the defendant received the sufficient information, he produced “proof sheets” with a color laser printer and fill the documentation out by hand. This way, according to the accusation, he intended to ensure that the banks, where he sent the transfers from the victim accounts, were actually sending the funds to the accounts that the 40-year-old established in Poland under a false name.
The court heard that the 40-year-old sent thousands of such referrals but some of his attempts failed. According to the investigation, the defendant managed to funnel the victims’ funds to his own accounts in 80 cases. In 34 of those cases, the suspect had caused an estimated damage of 50,000 euros to the victims. However, in a thorough investigation, the Bavarian Police managed to determine the origins of the printer, which the defendant used to print out the documentation. This way, law enforcement authorities could track back and identify the 40-year-old, which resulted in his arrest.
“OKI printer, 209 euros with 10 per cent extra discount,” Judge Martin Hahnemann read during the man’s trial.
When the police searched the house of the 40-year-old in Gelsenkirchen, investigators found two knuckle dusters, a pistol, a revolver and a shotgun.