Authorities at the Pasco County jail in Florida recently caught inmates in an elaborate money laundering scheme involving Bitcoin and the dark web.
The scheme reportedly involved buying stolen credit card information on the dark web with Bitcoin. Then, using the stolen cards to fund their commissary accounts, inmates released the funds to co-conspirators on the outside.
Just over $8,000 was stolen throughout 43 transactions, deputies reported.
It’s unclear how many people were involved in the scheme. Reportedly, multiple inmates were involved, and one civilian has been arrested.
Florida man Kamu Kaloma of New Port Richey, 37, was arrested on a fraud charge.
Additionally, warrants issued in Pasco County named several former inmates. No one has publicly said how long the scheme is suspected to have gone on.
Jail authorities undoubtedly noticed a pattern of large deposits and withdrawals, with unrelated parties playing a role in between.
Implicating the county jail system in a money laundering scheme will probably not be looked at in a friendly light.
In a case like this, much of the evidence will be digital and hard to refute. As a defendant, you might find yourself playing the role of proving your innocence, although the opposite paradigm is supposed to be at play.
Some of the main items trafficked on the dark web are identities, accounts (including Netflix, Hulu, et cetera), credit cards, counterfeit money, and, of course, drugs.
On the deep dark web, where there are no rules, even things like child pornography and weapons can be bought and sold.
It’s unclear how strong a case the county has built. One potential factor may be recent busts of various dark web operators, including the founders of DeepDotWeb, which once served as the premier clear web gateway to the darknet.
People still manage to find their way onto the dark web through sites like DarknetMarkets.org, but such places aren’t as dedicated or updated as DeepDotWeb.
DDW was a professional news organization in addition to an information hub. The site featured reviews, guides, and warnings about how to use the darknet.
Amazingly, the site operated for years. The operators allegedly took part in a money laundering scheme and were arrested, with their domain seized.
After all, it’s hard to have accurate information without some form of direct knowledge.
An unknown number of people have been caught up in recent sting operations brought on by international law enforcement co-operation.
It might be safe to say that the days of dealing on the dark web entirely under the radar are long gone.
Law enforcement has likely infiltrated every known darknet market, and there’s even reason to suspect the governments are establishing new markets.