Anyone who can offer information that leads to the arrest of a cyber fugitive accused of stealing identities and using them to siphon funds from bank and brokerage accounts will be rewarded with up to $5,000, the FBI announced on Thursday.
According to a press release published by the agency, 38-year-old John Gordon Baden is one of the most wanted fugitives of the San Diego FBI. The suspect and his co-conspirators are said to have made millions of dollars through their fraudulent operations.
Court documents show that Baden and his two co-conspirators, Jason Ray Bailey and Victor Alejandro Fernandez, hacked into the computer systems of a United States-based mortgage broker and gained access to mortgage application files containing names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license details, tax information and assets. More precisely, the suspects are said to have gained access to the records by obtaining the login credentials used by the company to manage customer records through the BlitzDocs application.
The data stolen from the mortgage company along with personally identifiable information (PII) stolen from others was used to obtain money from victims’ bank and brokerage accounts, and acquire expensive electronic items, the FBI said.
The criminal enterprise, which the FBI said was based in Tijuana, Mexico, was active between July 2011 and August 2013.
Baden, Bailey and Fernandez were indicted in July by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California, San Diego, California. They have been charged with computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud. Baden was indicted on hacking, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud charges.
Bailey and Fernandez are in custody, but the FBI believes Baden could be in Tijuana, Mexico, specifically the Zona Norte or Zona Centro area.
People who have information on Baden are urged to call the FBI at (858) 320-1800 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.
While for information on Baden the agency is prepared to pay up to $5,000, the FBI sometimes offers much larger rewards for cyber fugitives. In November 2013, the agency announced adding five names to its cyber’s most wanted list, with rewards ranging from up to $50,000 to $100,000.