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Cryptojacker Arrested, Charged for Defrauding Cloud Providers of $3.5 Million

Charles O. Parks III was arrested and charged with defrauding two cloud-services providers of $3.5 million.

The US Department of Justice on Monday announced the arrest and indictment of an Omaha, Nebraska, resident who allegedly ran a large-scale cryptojacking operation.

According to the indictment (PDF), the individual, Charles O. Parks III, known under the online moniker of CP3O, registered multiple accounts with two cloud providers to access cloud computing resources he used for mining cryptocurrency.

To set up the accounts, the defendant allegedly created numerous fake identities, email addresses, and company affiliations, including emails from companies he operated, such as MultiMillionaire LLC and CP3O LLC.

The indictment alleges that Parks did not pay for the cloud computing resources, which he used to mine for virtual currencies such as Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Monero (XMR).

According to the indictment, he also convinced the cloud providers to offer elevated levels of cloud computing services, such as GPUs, and used tools to maximize the cloud computing power.

Parks allegedly did not respond to the cloud providers’ inquiries regarding the data usage and unpaid subscription balances.

To hide the fraud, he converted and laundered the proceeds through various means, including bank accounts, cryptocurrency exchanges, an online payment provider, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace in New York, and multiple crypto wallets.

Parks allegedly acquired over $970,000 in cryptocurrency while running the scheme from January 2021 to August 2021.

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The proceeds were used to make extravagant purchases, including a Mercedes Benz luxury car, jewelry, and travel expenses. He also transferred some of the funds to a bank account of CP3O LLC, which he then used to secure a $75,000 loan.

The cryptojacking operation, the indictment alleges, defrauded the two cloud services providers of roughly $3.5 million in cloud computing and related services.

Parks was arrested on April 13 and is scheduled to make an initial appearance in court on April 16. He faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering charges, and up to 10 years in prison for unlawful monetary transactions charges.

Related: Two People Arrested in Australia and US for Development and Sale of Hive RAT

Related: 31 People Arrested in Global Cybercrime Crackdown

Related: Hacker Behind $2 Million Cryptocurrency Mining Scheme Arrested in Ukraine

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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