Today Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced sentencing for 16 members of a cybercrime ring based in Brooklyn calling itself “S3.” Members of the group admitted to credit card forgery and identity theft that compromised hundreds of bank accounts. Using counterfeit credit cards, they fraudulently purchased Apple products around the country and resold them for profit.
In a press release announcing the sentencing, Mr. Vance called S3 “truly a family affair.”
As police commissioner Ray Kelly said after the bust of an international identity theft ring in October in which more than 100 people were suspected to be involved: “The schemes and the imagination that is developing these days are really mind-boggling.” That global scam, in which U.S.-based gangs were skimming credit cards and buying high-end computer equipment, came to light following a two year investigation—”Operation Swiper.” So we were momentarily confused when we saw an indictment for an identity fraud ring involving dozens of people. Perhaps it was the same case?
It was unclear based on the details released, so Betabeat called the Attorney’s office to ask. Were these identity theft rings the same? Nope, it turns out. New York City has just been experiencing an insane uptick in cybercrime rings, especially those involving identity theft.
The DA’s office has been slinging indictments left and right: there have been at least four indictments of criminals involved in identity theft rings in New York City in which the case involved a conspiracy of dozens of defendants since Operation Swiper came to a head just over two months ago.