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The $1.3M darknet fraud ring Mastermind sentenced to seven years in prison

By Noir July 13, 2021, 11:03 a.m.
Prison-sentenced to seven years in prison.jpg

A leader of a fraud ring sentenced to seven years in prison.
The dark web fraud economy stands on compromised data. Accordingly, the continual stream of data breaches and leaks has contributed to personal information spread on the black market. This form of cybercrime is specifically hard to notice. Furthermore, the dark web uses an anonymous search engine known as Tor.

Tor gives significantly more anonymity than a standard web browser. However, it's not entirely secure. But, the Tor engine will mask your location and will not record your traffic. Others may still observe a portion of your browsing behavior. Hence,100% anonymity is not guaranteed.

So, many cybercrimes on the Dark Web still go free. However, some end up with high-profile arrests, as is the case in this article. A leader of a fraud ring sentenced to seven years in prison.

Leader of the fraud ring sentenced to seven years in prison.

Now, the leader of a high-end conspiracy gang has been sentenced to seven years in prison. The mastermind led schemes to defraud banks, loan firms, vehicle dealerships, and retailers out of more than $1.3 million. Octavio pleaded guilty to conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, and fraud counts in federal court in Providence earlier in 2019.

The Social Security Administration, the Office of the Inspector General, and the United States Secret Service performed the investigations.

Octavio Andres Difo-Castro is a 30-year-old from Brooklyn, New York. Octavio reached the US in 2016. Consequently, he bought stolen identification information from unsuspecting people on the dark web in blocks. Then, he utilized the data to construct high-quality driver’s licenses and other documents. Finally, Octavio distributed to others. They then worked for him to carry out scams that defrauded banks and merchants.

Additionally, Difo-Castro impersonated both the vendor and the buyer of vehicles. Purposefully, to obtain illegal financing from banking institutions. He then utilized the proceeds to earn shop credit and make purchases at clothes and cellular stores.

Banks and credit unions lost $899,866, cell phone stores $117,341, and clothes merchants cheated out of $14,067. Remember, that is according to court documents.
Further, some of Octavia’s accomplices were sentenced. Most of them admitted to committing severe cyber crimes mostly with links to the dark web. They used the TOR search engine to mastermind crimes. However, the way of their identity's revelation is only known to the state.

Equally important, Jason McDonald, 38, of Attleboro, is one of six co-defendants. In March 2018, he was sentenced to 39 months in jail. Plus, a $30,000 fine in compensation.

Also, Israel Arana Ruiz Velasco, 27, is indicted for his alleged involvement in the scheme. However, his whereabouts are unknown. Also, Velasco faces charges of wire fraud conspiracy and sixteen counts of wire fraud. And, an arrest warrant has been issued for him.

Another of Octavia’s co-accused is Angel L. Morales, 54, of New York. In September 2019, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. He received 36 months conviction in federal prison.  And an order to pay $116,000 in restitution.

Difo-Castro will be in supervised jail for three years after completing his prison sentence. Furthermore, he has been ordered to pay $649,180 in reparations.

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