Randos Still Getting Busted for Alleged Dumb Facebook Stock Scams

Who you callin nerd (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Apparently, a year later, we’re still not done with the fallout from the Facebook IPO. The Manhattan District Attorney has just indicted Ronen Zakai, a former stockbroker, for an alleged scheme to defraud his pals with promises of Facebook shares.

He’s accused of soliciting $705,000 for something called the “Social Innovation Fund,” promising to use the money to buy Facebook stock and then… not. Instead, the D.A. says, he allegedly used the money “on various expenses – including country club membership fees, car payments, traveling, and shopping trips – and through large cash withdrawals.” Read More

Smooth Criminals

DA’s Office Announces Sentences for S3, Brooklyn’s Apple Store-Targeting, Family-Run Cyber Gang


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.”  Read More

True Crime

Corrupt Chase Bank Tellers Charged With Helping Thieves Steal Customers’ Identities


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. Read More