Sunday, February 28, 2010
Darkmarket: Facebook for fraudsters
An immigrant from Sri Lanka who created a website trading in stolen financial information linked to tens of millions of pounds in losses has been jailed for nearly 5 years in Britain. Renukanth Subramaniam, 33, founded Darkmarket, a Facebook for fraudsters where criminals could buy and sell credit card details and bank log-ins. The site was shut down in 2008 after an FBI agent infiltrated it, leading to more than 60 arrests worldwide. Subramaniam admitted conspiracy to defraud at Blackfriars Crown Court. He also pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud. Prosecutors said the case was extraordinary because it was founded and promoted over the Internet. It even operated a secure payment system, allowing users to review the criminal services on offer - creating a one-stop-shop for criminals the world over. Subramaniam, originally from Sri Lanka, was given British citizenship in 2002 and ran Darkmarket from an Internet cafe.