DarkMarket credit card fraudster jailed for five years

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DarkMarket credit card fraudster jailed for five years

Ian Grant

The man who set up DarkMarket, an online supermarket for credit card fraudsters, has been jailed for almost five years.

Renukanth Subramaniam, 33, a Sri Lankan immigrant, was arrested in 2008 by officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) after an FBI agent, "Master Splynter", infiltrated the site and ended up running it as a sting operation.

Subramaniam pleaded guilty in 2005 to setting up and running the site, which offered a secure payment system and a "try before you buy" service, from internet cafes in north London.

The FBI tracked up to 2,500 criminals as they bought and sold credit card details and bank log-ins. Some 56 were arrested in follow-up operations in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Turkey and Russia.

Judge John Hillen said, "Criminals should learn from this case that, even in cyberspace, there is no hiding place," the BBC reported.

The judge jailed Subramaniam, aka "Jilsi", for 46 months for conspiracy to defraud and 10 months for five counts of mortgage fraud. The terms will run consecutively.

A DarkMarket user, John McHugh, 66, whose username was "Devilman", was jailed for two years for conspiracy to defraud.

Soca deputy director Sharon Lemon said Subramaniam took pains to hide his activities, the BBC reported. "He seems to have thought that carrying data around on memory sticks and using internet cafes would somehow protect him from scrutiny. He was wrong."


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