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Financial Crimes

‘Vendor’ in far-reaching identity theft and credit card fraud scheme sentenced to more than 8 years in prison

WASHINGTON — A northern California man who served as an information and document vendor in the identity theft and credit card fraud ring known as "Carder.su" was sentenced Thursday to 100 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $50 million in restitution.

Makyl Haggerty, aka "Wave" and "G5," 24, of Oakland, California, admitted in his plea agreement that in December 2009 he became associated with the Carder.su organization. Haggerty pleaded guilty in February to one count of participation in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization.

Members of the criminal enterprise trafficked in compromised credit card account data and counterfeit identities. The organization was also linked to money laundering, narcotics trafficking and various types of computer crime. Specifically, Haggerty served as a vendor on the organization's websites using the "Wave" and "G5" nicknames. The defendant sold approximately 1,000 counterfeit identification documents and counterfeit credit cards to other Carder.su members. Haggerty manufactured and sold counterfeit driver's licenses for at least 15 states and British Columbia.

"Carder.su is a criminal organization, and we used the same mob-busting laws and investigative techniques we've used with other organized crime networks to dismantle the fraud ring," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell with the Justice Department's Criminal Division. "The new face of organized crime is largely cyber-based, and this case demonstrates the department's ability to pursue members of these organizations wherever we find them."

"The structure of the Carder.su organization was sophisticated and designed to prevent attack by rival organizations and to avoid detection by law enforcement," said U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden. "Its members had defined roles and were responsible for the theft of over $50 million. We are working diligently with our law enforcement partners to ensure that the people who commit these high-tech crimes are put out of business."

A total of 56 individuals were charged in four separate indictments as part of the probe targeting the Carder.su organization. To date, 25 of the defendants have been convicted. The remainder are either fugitives or are awaiting trial.

The case is the result of a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Secret Service. The prosecution is being handled by Trial Attorney Jonathan Ophardt of the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly M. Frayn and Andrew W. Duncan of the District of Nevada.

"As this multi-year sentence makes clear, individuals like this defendant who traffic in stolen identities and compromised credit card information should expect to face the full weight of the law," said HSI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Harris. "This type of fraud has reached epidemic proportions and the economic fallout from these crimes affects us all. HSI will continue to work closely with its law enforcement partners to see that those involved are brought to justice."

The law enforcement action is sponsored by President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources.