Prison

Nebraska man faces 30-year sentence for $3.5m cryptojacking operation

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A Nebraska, United States resident is staring down the possibility of spending three decades behind bars following his involvement in a significant cryptojacking scheme.

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According to an indictment released on April 15 by the United States Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, Charles O. Parks III, also known as “CP3O,” stands accused of defrauding two well-known cloud service providers.

Cryptojacking, a form of cyberattack, involves unauthorized access to a victim’s system to mine cryptocurrencies using its resources, such as processing power or electricity.

The attack often goes undetected until it’s too late for the victim.

Parks is alleged to have illicitly siphoned $3.5 million worth of computational resources from the service providers, leveraging them to mine cryptocurrencies valued at approximately $970,000.

The litany of charges against him includes wire fraud, money laundering and unlawful monetary transactions associated with the scheme.

Arrested on April 13, 2024, Parks will appear before the federal court in Omaha on April 16.

The case is being jointly prosecuted by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith emphasized the agency’s commitment to pursuing individuals who exploit digital tools for criminal gain, stressing the financial havoc wreaked upon victims.

Parks’ alleged activities unfolded between January and August 2021.

During this time, he created multiple accounts with the cloud service providers under fictitious business names like “MultiMillionaire LLC” and “CP3O LLC,” accessing substantial computing power and storage without remitting payment.

Parks deceived the providers into granting him enhanced access to their services, enabling him to mine various cryptocurrencies, including Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR).

He purportedly evaded inquiries about suspicious data usage and delayed payment obligations.

Prosecutors assert that Parks laundered the ill-gotten gains through cryptocurrency exchanges, an NFT marketplace and conventional bank accounts, structuring transactions to evade federal reporting requirements.

The funds financed a lavish lifestyle, including the purchase of a Mercedes Benz, jewellery, and luxurious travel expenses.

If convicted, Parks faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for wire fraud and 10 years for illegal financial transactions.

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