A US citizen has pleaded guilty in a Missouri court to operating a darknet carding site and selling financial information belonging to tens of thousands of victims in that country.
Michael D. Mihaloaka Dale Michael Mihalo Jr. and ggmccloud1, accused of creating a carding site called SkyNet Market which specializes in trading credit and debit card data.
Mihalo and his colleagues also hawked their wares on other dark web marketplaces such as AlphaBay Market, Wall Street Market, and Hansa Market between 22 February 2016 to 1 October 2019.
“Mihalo assembled and directed a team that helped him sell this stolen financial information on the darknet,” US Department of Justice (DoJ) said in a press statement released on May 16, 2023.
“Mihalo personally owned, sent, and received information related to the stolen 49,084 payment cards with the intention that the payment card information would be traded on darknet sites, all as a continuation of a conspiracy.”
One of the accused’s accomplice, Taylor Ross Staats, worked as a “card checker”, ensuring that the financial information being sold was valid and had not been overturned by the relevant financial institution.
Staats is estimated to have earned at least $21,000 worth of Bitcoins for this service. He pleaded guilty on December 14, 2022, to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud for this role in the operation. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Mihalo, a 40-year-old Illinois native, raked in more than $1 million in cryptocurrency from the scheme, the Department of Justice added.
The defendant has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, as well as one count of access device fraud and six counts of money laundering, each carrying a maximum term of 10 years. prison time. He had also been ordered to forfeit all ill-gotten gains.
Earlier this month, US authorities also shut down Try2Check, a popular Russian platform used by cybercriminals to confirm the legitimacy of stolen credit card information.