Payment Processor For Cybercrime Ring Sentenced To 48 Months In Federal Prison; ‘Operation Trident Tribunal’ Is Ongoing

recommendedreading1Mikael Patrick Sallnert has been sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for his role in processing payments for a cybercrime ring, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

Sallnert, 37, is a citizen of Sweden. As part of “Operation Trident Tribunal,” Sallnert was arrested in Denmark on Jan. 19, 2012, and extradited to the United States in March 2012. He pleaded guilty on Aug. 17, 2012, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of accessing a protected computer in furtherance of fraud, the Justice Department said.

“Payment processors like this defendant are the backbone of the cybercrime underworld,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan of the Western District of Washington.  “As an established businessman, this defendant put a stamp of legitimacy on cyber criminals.  He was involved in defrauding thousands of victims, and his actions contributed to insecurities in e-commerce that stifle the development of legitimate enterprises and increase the costs of e-commerce for everyone.”

If Durkan’s name rings familiar to PP Blog readers, it’s because her office is involved in an investigation into the activities of a group of “sovereign citizens” operating in the Pacific Northwest. Kenneth Wayne Leaming, a figure in the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme story, is being prosecuted by Durkan’s office amid allegations he filed false liens against at least five public officials in the ASD Ponzi scheme case.

Sallnert, prosecutors said, provided payment-processing services for “scareware” vendors.

“Mikael Patrick Sallnert played an instrumental role in carrying out a massive cybercrime ring that victimized approximately 960,000 innocent victims,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. “By facilitating payment processing, Sallnert allowed the cybercrime ring to collect millions of dollars from victims who were duped into believing their computers were compromised and could be fixed by the bogus software created by Sallnert’s co-conspirators.  Cybercrime poses a real threat to American consumers and businesses, and the Justice Department is committed to pursuing cybercriminals across the globe.”

Operation Trident Tribunal is an “ongoing, coordinated enforcement action targeting international cybercrime,” prosecutors said.

“This cyber crime ring spanned multiple countries—increasing the threat it posed and complicating the necessary law enforcement response,” said Laura M. Laughlin, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle Division.  “Thanks to the commitment of many foreign partners and FBI entities across the nation, we were able to dismantle that threat and ensure Mr. Sallnert faced justice.”

Scams often rely on international payments processors to fleece their victims.


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One Response to “Payment Processor For Cybercrime Ring Sentenced To 48 Months In Federal Prison; ‘Operation Trident Tribunal’ Is Ongoing”

  1. ““Payment processors like this defendant are the backbone of the cybercrime underworld,”

    This comment alone is music to the ears of many of us who have been complaining about the role of “enablers” in the successful propagation of illegal money schemes.

    Payment processors, banks who sloppily neglect their own suspicious activity procedures, forums which knowingly allow promotion of illegal schemes are all found amongst them.

    Attorney General Durkin’s statement is one of the most refreshing we have seen from law enforcement recently as it goes to the core of the problem of the propagation of cyber crime.