Sometimes you get the feeling that phishing scammers always get away with it, that the best you can do is warn people not to click links in their bogus e-mails and other messages. That isn’t the case, however. The FBI just broke up a phishing conspiracy run by some Romanian citizens and two of them were handed prison sentences.
Bogdan Boceanu, 30, was sentenced to 80 months in prison, and Andrei Bolovan, 29, was sentenced to 27 months of in prison by US District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven, Connecticut for participating in an extensive Internet phishing scheme.
The scheme, largely run from Craiova, Romania, sent out numerous e-mails seeking to gain Internet users’ banking information. The e-mails falsely claimed to represent numerous institutions including People’s Bank, Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comerica Bank, Regions Bank, LaSalle Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay, and PayPal.
The co-conspirators used the information they obtained to access bank accounts and lines of credit and to withdraw funds without authorization, often from ATMs in Romania.
After a seven-year investigation, criminal charges were made against 19 Romanian citizens. Seven defendants were indicted by a New Haven grand jury for offenses stemming to the scheme in 2007. In 2010, an additional 12 defendants were indicted, including Boceanu and Bolovan.
The first three defendants to face charges were extradited from Bulgaria, Croatia, and Canada. Boceanu, Bolovan and six others were extradited from Romania after the 2010 ratification of an amended treaty on mutual legal assistance between Romania and the US.
Check out the FBI’s release for more details: Two Romanian Citizens Involving in Phishing Scheme Sentenced to Federal Prison.