Anti-gangster law invoked to score stiff sentence against two-bit cyberthief

Federal prosecutors have secured an unusually stiff sentence against a low-level identity thief by invoking the same law used to target bosses of the Gambino crime family and Los Angeles street gangs.

On Thursday, David Ray Camez, 22, was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison and pay $20 million in restitution for his participation in, a website that allowed people to collaborate on crimes involving identity theft, computer malware, and other types of online graft. He was already serving a seven-year sentence for the same acts when he and 38 others were charged in a 2012 indictment. The indictment alleged violations of the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which allows for harsh criminal and civil penalties for acts that are part of an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Under RICO, it didn't matter that Camez's conduct was an infinitesimal small part of the illegal acts carried out on; or that he was just 17 or 18-years-old when he was caught purchasing or possessing counterfeit drivers licenses, credit and gift cards, and equipment for manufacturing counterfeit cards. During sentencing, prosecutors provided evidence establishing the site, with an estimated 5,500 members as of 2011, was responsible for losses totaling $50 million. Feds also established that was a criminal enterprise engaged in large-scale trafficking of compromised credit cards and identities. The showings were some of the many factors under RICO that allowed for increased penalties for Camez, who went by the online aliases "Bad Man" and "doctorsex."

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SSCC 60 – Obama Proposals, Square Enix, Mac threats

Sophos Security Chet Chat logoWell it is bound to happen occasionally, and it did last week… I missed a Chet Chat. I was at the Sophos sales conference and did so much speaking and chatting with colleagues, that I lost my voice.

I’m back this week though, and I had my friend and co-worker Ben Jupp join me on Chet Chat 60. Ben works in our Global Escalation Support team and deals with all the thorny issues with non-Windows platforms. Ben’s specialty is Mac OS X and works closely with product development and SophosLabs on Apple related issues.

This week we began our discussion with Obama’s recent proposed changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). We talked about the latest data breach at Square Enix and Sony’s most recent stumble.

My primary reason for having Ben as my guest was to explore all the news surrounding the recent fake anti-virus attacks against the Mac platform. In addition to the malware for OS X we also talked a bit about the Apple Mac App Store and keeping applications patched against vulnerabilities.

If you prefer a news summary for the week in text format, visit the Sophos Security News and Trends for the latest selected hot topics or subscribe to our weekly newsletter, Sophos eNews.

(19 May 2011, duration 20:27 minutes, size 9.9MBytes)

You can also download this podcast directly in MP3 format: Sophos Security Chet Chat 60 or subscribe to our RSS.