Saturday, October 31, 2020

Man Sentenced For Account Takeover, Money Laundering Scheme Affecting Tens Of Thousands

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A Brooklyn man will spend nearly five years in prison for stealing identities, defrauding banks and e-commerce retailers out of more than a million dollars, impacting tens of thousands of victims over a decade.

Jason Mickel Elcock – also known as Prezzi – was sentenced in Manhattan federal court was sentenced to 57 months in prison or engaging in a decade-long scheme to steal personal and financial information from tens of thousands of individuals and businesses and unlawful possession of a firearm, resulting in a loss of more than $1.1 million to banks and online retailers

Elcock pleaded guilty on March 12 to wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said that between 2008 and 2018, Elcock and co-conspirators participated in a scheme to defraud banks and retailers by using stolen personal identifying information, bank account information, credit, and debit card data from tens of thousands of people and businesses.

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The identifying information was purchased on criminal websites. They also hacked into victims’ email accounts to steal personal information.

Berman said that Elcock then monetized the stolen data by using the stolen credit card information to buy merchandise and services from e-commerce retailers for resale or for personal use; using stolen data to open new lines of credit in his victims’ names without their permission; transferring money electronically out of victims’ bank accounts; and creating and cashing fraudulent checks issued against victims’ bank accounts.

Elcock and his co-conspirators then used the stolen money to make a down payment on a Mercedes-Benz, Rolex watches, electronics, and designer clothing. Some of the money was then laundered through bank accounts belonging to his co-conspirators.

More: Fundraiser for NY mayor convicted of bribing police

As part of the scheme, Elcock also transferred phone numbers and changed email addresses that were linked to victims’ bank and online shopping accounts, to different phone numbers and email addresses that he and a co-conspirator controlled.

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Berman said that Elcock’s decade-long scheme caused banks and retailers to lose more than $1.1 million, and “imposed burden and stress on countless individual victims, as they had to take steps to regain access to their phone numbers and email accounts, file police reports, notify credit agencies, cancel lines of credit, and dispute unauthorized purchases.”

When he was arrested, police seized a 9mm pistol, ammunition, a bill counter, Rolex watches, multiple laptops, tablets, smartphones, designer clothing shoes, and handbags, from his home.

As part of his sentencing, Elcock, 34, will serve three years of post-release supervision and was ordered to forfeit $1,111,893 and his interest in two bank accounts and merchandise at his residence.

“The theft and exploitation of our online data by perpetrators hiding in the weeds of the Internet is becoming all too common,” Berman said. “This Office is committed to identifying, exposing and prosecuting cyber thieves wherever they may be found.”

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