US Prosecutors Unspool xDedic Criminal Marketplace CasesMarketplace Seized in 2019 Facilitated Over $68M in Fraud, FBI and IRS Say
A 2019 seizure by U.S. law enforcement of an online criminal marketplace is paying dividends for prosecutors unrolling prosecutions of accused fraudsters who allegedly obtained compromised credentials from the site.
Prosecutors unsealed four indictments charging three Nigerian nationals and one U.K. resident with conspiracy to steal Americans' personally identifiable information to obtain fraudulent tax refunds.
The prosecutions are the latest development in a yearslong effort to bring users and administrators of the xDedic marketplace to justice. Shortly after seizing the site in 2019, FBI and IRS officials estimated the site facilitated more than $68 million in fraud across the globe. Spanish authorities arrested accused site administrator Alexandru Habasescu, a Molodovan national, in the Canary Islands in March and extradited him to the United States on Nov. 21.
Habasescu faces a two-count criminal indictment for conspiracy to traffic in unauthorized access devices and for possessing more than 15 unauthorized access devices. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg, of the Middle District of Florida, on Monday announced the arrest of four accused members of the fraudulent tax fraud ring: Akinola Taylor, Olayemi Adafin and Olakunle Oyebanjo in London on Nov. 30 and and Kazeem Olanrewaju Runsewe in Malmo, Sweden on Dec. 1.
If convicted, the alleged tax fraud conspiracy members each face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, plus potentially additional penalties.