EarthLink Evidence Helps Stop Phisher Site Spam Ring

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 8:45 pm

EarthLink’s investigation into the source of millions of phisher site spam e-mails has helped law enforcement break up an alleged identity theft ring. A federal grand jury in New Haven, Connecticut, returned an indictment on September 20th charging six individuals with identity theft, conspiracy and fraud in connection with e-mail and access devices. The indictment was unsealed today.

The indictment charges Michael Dolan of North Miami Beach, Florida; Charlie Blount, Jr., of Branford, Connecticut; Keith Riedel of Winter Haven, Florida; Richard D’Andrea of West Haven, Connecticut; Thomas Taylor, Jr. of West Haven, and Daniel Mascia of West Haven, with various counts of conspiracy, fraud in connection with access devices, fraud in connection with electronic mail and aggravated identity theft. Blount, D’Andrea and Taylor entered guilty pleas today.

The charges follow a year-long investigation by EarthLink’s abuse team. In May of 2005, EarthLink’s abuse team began identifying phisher site e-mails on its network that used a variety of methods including fake “greeting card” e- mails, bogus prize-winning announcements and account cancellation messages to trick consumers into providing credit card numbers and other personal information. EarthLink’s abuse team shut down the accounts sending the fraudulent e-mails, and captured evidence about the e-mails’ origins for law enforcement.


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