A Colombian citizen has been sentenced to nine years in prison for a complex computer fraud which affected more than 600 people.
Mario Simbaqueba Bonilla, 40, was also sentenced to three years supervised release on his exit from prison, and ordered to pay restitution of $347,000.
Simbaqueba Bonilla pleaded guilty in January to charges of conspiracy, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the charges Simbaqueba Bonilla, alone and in concert with a co-conspirator, engaged in a complex series of computer intrusions, identity thefts and credit card frauds designed to steal money from payroll, bank and other accounts.
The court recognised the attempted and actual loss from the scheme at $1.4m.
Much of the identity theft, initiated from computers in Colombia, targeted individuals residing in the US, including Department of Defense personnel.
Simbaqueba Bonilla used the money to buy expensive electronics and luxury travel and accommodation in various countries, including Hong Kong, Turks and Caicos, France, Jamaica, Italy, Chile and the US.
The man engaged in a conspiracy between 2004 to 2007 that began with illegally installing keystroke logging software on computers located in hotel business centres and internet lounges around the world.
This software collected the personal information of those who used the computers, including passwords and other identifying information used to access bank, payroll, brokerage and other accounts online.
Simbaqueba Bonilla used the data to steal or divert money into accounts he had created in the names of other people he had victimised in the same way.
Through a complex series of electronic transactions designed to cover his trail, Simbaqueba Bonilla transferred the stolen money to credit, cash or debit cards and had the cards mailed to himself and others at commercial mailing addresses.
Federal agents arrested Simbaqueba Bonilla when he flew into the US in August 2007.
At the time of his arrest, Simbaqueba Bonilla was flying on an airline ticket purchased with stolen funds, and had in his possession a laptop also purchased with stolen funds.
The laptop contained the names, passwords and other personal and financial information of more than 600 people.
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