A third defendant in Ohio’s organised fake ID ring pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to local media outlet The Toledo Blade.
The scheme involved selling fake identification cards on popular online forum Reddit and dark net markets, with the ring reportedly netting a massive $4.7 million over five years.
Sarah Alberts, 35, admitted to money laundering conspiracy and knowingly possessing five or more ID documents with intent to use them unlawfully.
Co-defendants Mark Alex Simon, 35, and Aaron Kuns, also 35, had already submitted guilty pleas prior to Alberts’ confession on Tuesday.
Court documents demonstrate each defendant’s role in the crime, as Simon received orders online before sending photos to Kuns, who made the IDs and packaged them for delivery. Alberts then picked the IDs up from Kuns’ garage before mailing them to customers.
Police seized $7,000 in cash, $4.7 million worth of Bitcoin (400 BTC) that was stored on a hardware wallet, six prepaid crypto debit cards, and several bars of gold and silver.
— Ron (@ronmc1) July 3, 2019
The judge will sentence all three defendants on September 18. Simon will be required to forfeit $2.8 million in Bitcoin while Kuns will have to give up $10,000 in Bitcoin.
This case is one of several that has involved Bitcoin and criminality. As a Bitcoin wallet address is a string of 34 characters, it’s difficult for law enforcement to tie a name to an address.
However, blockchain forensics allows for law enforcement agencies to dive deep into these addresses, with a number of arrests being made over the past year.
A Britain’s Got Talent contestant from the UK, Olivia Archbold, was convicted over a dark web cannabis racket in March, while a Bitcoin ‘phisher’ from Connecticut was sentenced to one year in prison in April.
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