Cryptojacker Charged with Defrauding Two Cloud Providers of $3.5M

Cryptojacker Accused of Defrauding Two Cloud Providers and Mining $3.5M Worth of Cryptocurrency

Prosecutors in the United States have pressed charges against an individual from Nebraska for allegedly running a cryptojacking scheme that defrauded two cloud providers of $3.5 million. The accused, Charles O. Parks III, also known as “CP3O,” has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering offenses related to the illicit operation.

According to the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office, Parks orchestrated the scheme to mine nearly $1 million worth of cryptocurrencies, including Ether, Litecoin, and Monero, without authorization from the cloud providers. The funds obtained through the illegal mining activities were allegedly utilized for extravagant purchases, such as a luxury Mercedes Benz, jewelry, and high-end travel expenses.

Parks created multiple accounts with a subsidiary of a cloud computing company based in Seattle and another firm specializing in personal computers and related services headquartered in Redmond. By employing various aliases, corporate affiliations, and email addresses, he was able to gain access to advanced services and benefits from the cloud providers.

The indictment also suggests that Parks laundered a portion of the unlawfully acquired cryptocurrency through a decentralized company and the remaining funds through a payments provider, bank accounts, and a New York City-based nonfungible token marketplace. To avoid detection, Parks reportedly made transactions just below the $10,000 threshold that triggers mandatory reporting.

Despite facing suspension for nonpayment and fraudulent activity, Parks allegedly created a new account with the cloud provider within a day and consumed services worth over $2.5 million. Additionally, he allegedly defrauded the Redmond-based provider of more than $969,000 in cloud computing and related services using similar tactics.

The Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office emphasized its commitment to prosecuting individuals who employ advanced technology for fraudulent activities. If convicted, Parks could face a maximum sentence of 50 years for his alleged crimes.