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Monday, March 1, 2010

Darkmarket Fraudster Sentenced to Five Years

33-year old Renukanth Subramaniam, the Sri Lankan who created and ran Darkmarket - called "Facebook for criminals" - has been sentenced to nearly five years in a British jail. Subramaniam was granted British citizenship in 2002 and ran Darkmarket from an Internet cafe under a screen name. Though he owned three homes, authorities say he lived "nomadically," staying most often with friends in and around London.

Darkmarket was a social networking-type site for criminals, where they bought and sold stolen IDs, credit card details, bank logins, and the like. Authorities say it was a "one-stop shop" for criminals of their kind which even operated its own payment system. The site was closed in 2008 and some 60+ people were arrested worldwide from countries including the UK, U.S., Canada, France, and (of course) Russia.

Subramaniam was sentenced to 46 months for conspiracy to defraud and 10 months for mortgage fraud. A second Briton was sentenced to two years for fraud in conjunction with the investigation; 66-year old John McHugh created fake credit card accounts and sold them over Darkmarket.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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