Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Claude Arnold of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Los Angeles made the announcement.
David Ray Camez, 22, also known as “Bad Man” and “doctorsex,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon. Camez was convicted on Dec. 6, 2013, of one count of participating in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization and one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization. In addition to his prison term, he was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $20 million in restitution.
“Camez was a member of a vast criminal organization that facilitated rampant cyber fraud throughout the world,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General O’Neil. “This organization is the new face of organized crime – a highly structured cyber network operated like a business to commit fraud on a global scale. Members, like Camez, paid to tap into the network and gain control of highly sensitive information, like compromised credit card numbers and stolen identities. Thanks to sophisticated law enforcement efforts, Camez will now pay for his crimes with decades in prison.”
“As shown in this case, cybercrime has grown into an industry and is rapidly overtaking traditional crime such as bank robbery,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “Cybercrime was once viewed as the crime wave of the future but in reality, that threat is here now. We will continue working with our international law enforcement partners on cases such as this to track and prosecute this new wave of thieves.”
“As this sentence demonstrates, cyber-criminals who purposely harm innocent Americans and compromise the world’s economic stability will be aggressively pursued, investigated and prosecuted – and ultimately receive the justice they deserve,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Arnold. “This case is a stellar example of how interagency law enforcement cooperation and teamwork can successfully bring down an entire organized criminal conspiracy.”
Camez was one of 39 charged in an indictment returned in January 2012. Seven others have pleaded guilty, two are scheduled for trial in June, and the rest are fugitives. Sixteen other defendants were also charged in the scheme in three separate indictments, and 14 have pleaded guilty to date.
The target of the investigation was an organization that called itself “Carder.su.” Investigation of the Carder.su organization began in March 2007, after the United States Secret Service, operating in conjunction with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies who participate in the Southwestern Identity Theft and Fraud Task Force (SWIFT), began investigating a pattern of credit and debit card fraud. A special agent initiated an undercover investigation called Open Market and assumed the identity as a member of the organization when it was in its infancy.
The investigation determined that members of the Carder.su organization, known as “carders,” were involved in large scale trafficking of compromised credit card account data and counterfeit identifications and credit cards, as well as money laundering, narcotics trafficking and various types of computer crime. The organization operated an Internet web portal called a forum, where members could purchase the illicitly obtained data and share knowledge of various fraud schemes. A second forum was also created to vet incoming new members. The forums were generally hosted within the former Soviet Union and the upper echelon of the organization resides within the former Soviet Union. In July 2011, the organization had an estimated 5,500 members.
Members of the organization had different roles, including moderators who directed other members in carrying out activities; reviewers who examined and tested products, services and contraband; vendors who advertised and sold products, services and contraband; and members. Members were required to successfully complete a number of security features designed to protect the organization from infiltration by law enforcement or members of rival criminal organizations. Camez became a member of the organization under the name “Bad Man” on June 22, 2008. Camez also used the name “doctorsex.” During 2009 and 2010, the undercover special agent had multiple contacts with Camez in which Camez purchased counterfeit Nevada and Arizona driver’s licenses. Investigators also intercepted and seized a package shipped to Camez from Pakistan which contained counterfeit credit and gift cards. During a search of Camez’ home in Phoenix in May 2010, agents recovered counterfeit credit cards, equipment used to manufacture counterfeit credit cards, counterfeit U.S. currency and counterfeit identification documents. A search of Camez’ computer revealed software used to encode counterfeit credit cards and stolen identity information.
In addition to the U.S. Secret Service, HSI and members of the SWIFT Task Force in Las Vegas, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Computer Crimes Division also provided assistance in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jonathan Ophardt of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly M. Frayn and Andrew W. Duncan of the District of Nevada.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorney’s offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Since the inception of FFETF in November 2009, the Justice Department has filed more than 12,841 financial fraud cases against nearly 18,737 defendants including nearly 3,500 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov .