Three men suspected of running Fakeplastic.net, a website that provided high-quality counterfeit credit cards and holographic overlays used to create fake driver’s licenses, have been charged in the Western District of North Carolina.
39-year-old Sean Robertson is accused of running the site. He has been charged with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods or services, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with authentication features.
Robertson’s co-conspirators, Vinicio Gonzalez, 30, and Hugo Rebaza, 31, have been charged with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud.
Eleven other individuals who are said to be Fakeplastic.net customers have been arrested. One of them is Nashancy Johnny Colbert, 27, charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud.
Fakeplastic.net had been investigated by the FBI and the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) since January 2013.
Authorities said Robertson was selling counterfeit credit cards and related items since April 2011, but he launched the website only in June 2012. He and his accomplices allegedly made around 69,000 payment cards, 35,000 holographic stickers, and over 30,000 stated identification holographic overlays.
Initially, the crooks accepted payment in Liberty Reserve, but after the online currency was taken out of the picture by authorities, they started taking payments in Bitcoin.
The FBI estimates that the losses associated with just the counterfeit payment cards are over $34.5 million (€25.2 million).
In December 2013, the FBI and the USPIS infiltrated the website and made over 30 orders. At the time, Fakeplastic.net already had more than 400 members.
“This ring of computer criminals ran an online one-stop shop where counterfeit credit cards were a mouse click away,” stated US Attorney Anne M. Tompkins for the Western District of North Carolina.
“As consumer fraud becomes more sophisticated, law enforcement and prosecutors across the country are joining forces to pull aside the veil of cyberspace anonymity and take down criminal enterprises that pilfer the identities of innocent victims for personal gain.”