Audincourt: The Montbeliard-Hericourt police arrested a 20-year-old in Doubs, France, for fraud and use of fraudulent documents. Adam, the 20-year-old university student, had allegedly used the darknet to conduct a series of scams. The police accused him of buying identification documents on the darknet and then using the forged documents to open bank accounts and lines of credit. He seemingly purchased stolen identity documents as well, but the case is still unfolding.
Detectives at the Montbeliard-Hericourt police station identified the suspect in late November. They found someone buying falsified identity papers on the darknet and then using the documents to open accounts at financial establishments. According to a “source close to the case” who spoke with lepoint, the suspect purchased phones and laptops and other electronic devices with the fraudulent financial information. To turn a profit, he resold the electronics online. He had established a so-called “clever” method of picking up mail from banks and other companies that used his fake names. Lepoint wrote that the 20-year-old affixed his fraudulent identities to unoccupied addresses in the city. This is not exactly a new technique.
Officials had made it clear that the suspect was a mathematical genius and that somehow that mathematical skill had helped him devise a plan that would even fool the police. Despite only selectively receiving mail and only picking the best falsified identity documentation to use in fraudulent accounts, the local detectives caught up with him.
During a search of his home, the Montbeliard-Hericourt police found dozens of laptops, dozens of tablets, and a number of smartphones. They reportedly found nearly 20 credit/atm/debit cards and checkbooks as well. Best of all, the source close to the case told that Lepointe, “perfectly stored in simple boxes, hundreds of banknotes were counted.” In only what the police had called a “few” months, Adam had amassed nearly 350,000 euros ($415,975).
The 20-year-old so-called “brilliant math student” told investigators that he was not entirely to blame, the source said. Instead, Adam said that he had been recruited by a mysterious group of hackers from Spain. “His version is clearly challenged by some elements uncovered during the investigation,” the source explained. The evidence found at Adam’s house eliminate him from any plausible deniability; he had a Tails USB drive, fully encrypted, stored in a location the cops had searched. And sure enough, the police found it and elected to send it to cybercrime investigators to fully decrypt the drive. They aimed to uncover whether or not any hackers from Spain had worked with Adam to steal money from financial institutions across France. They also wanted to know if the version of events they had pieced together accurately depicted a day in the life of Adam.