Aaron James Glende, a 35-year-old from Winona, Minnesota, was sentenced this week by an Atlanta court to four years and two months in prison for selling stolen information on a dark web marketplace called AlphaBay.
Glende was initially charged with bank fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, but in September he pleaded guilty to the last two charges.
AlphaBay is a highly popular dark web marketplace used to buy and sell weapons, counterfeit products, drugs and chemicals, and items that can be used to commit fraud. Bitcoin is typically used for transactions on the website, but other digital currencies are also accepted. The value of Monero, for example, increased significantly in September after it was integrated by AlphaBay.
According to U.S. authorities, between November 2015 and May 2016, Glende offered to sell stolen information, including bank account data in AlphaBay’s “Fraud” section. IcyEagle advertised SunTrust Bank accounts with various balances, including accounts with between $30,000 and $150,000, which he sold for $66.99. SunTrust accounts with balances of $100-$500 were sold for $10.
An undercover FBI agent who purchased SuntTrust account information from Glende confirmed that the usernames, passwords, email and physical addresses, phone numbers, and bank account details were valid.
A search of the cybercriminal’s computer after his arrest revealed that he possessed hundreds of credit card and bank account numbers, social security numbers, banking credentials, and logins for online accounts.
While authorities specifically named SunTrust accounts, cyber risk intelligence firm SurfWatch Labs said IcyEagle also sold Amazon gift cards and logins for various types of online services, including email, dating sites, and reward programs. SurfWatch reported that the fraudster also sold SunTrust accounts with balances ranging between $250,000 and $500,000 for $230.
In March, the Winona Post reported that local police had arrested Glende after postal inspectors found prescription pills in his packages.
“It’s unclear how — or even if — those two events are linked, but shortly after that drug-related arrest the FBI appears to have begun targeting IcyEagle’s postings on AlphaBay,” SurfWatch said. “We can speculate that after U.S. Postal Inspectors tied Glende to selling prescription drugs, the search warrant and subsequent investigation may have revealed evidence leading law enforcement to AlphaBay and IcyEagle — or vice versa.”
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