U.S. charges dozens in massive hacking sting: source

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 1:14 PM

By Basil Katz

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. law enforcement officials were expected to announce charges on Tuesday against dozens of people tracked down through an international sting operation who are suspected of online financial fraud involving stolen credit card accounts, a person familiar with the matter said.

The investigation in which FBI agents posed as hackers targeted people on four continents suspected of trafficking credit card information, according to the source, who asked not to be identified.

Three people have been arrested in the New York area, the source said. Only one of them has so far been publicly identified. That person, Joshua Hicks, also known as "OxideDox," was charged in Manhattan federal court with one count of access device fraud in a criminal complaint unsealed on Tuesday.

Charges against the other suspected hackers are expected to be made public later on Tuesday.

According to the complaint, Hicks sold 15 stolen credit card accounts in February through an online forum known as a "carding forum" that had been secretly created and run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation since June 2010.

The FBI operation prevented hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer losses, the source said.

It was not immediately clear if Hicks has retained or been appointed a lawyer.

The case is U.S. v Joshua Hicks, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No 12-1639.

(Reporting By Basil Katz; Editing by Carol Bishopric)