Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ohio Man and Two Foreign Residents Indicted in Alleged Ukraine-Based 'Scareware' Fraud Scheme

Via PRNewswire-USNewswire.

An international cybercrime scheme caused Internet users in more than 60 countries to purchase more than one million bogus software products, causing victims to lose more than $100 million, according to a federal indictment returned here against a Cincinnati area man and two other men believed to be living abroad. The charges allege that the defendants, through fake advertisements placed on various legitimate companies' websites, deceived Internet users into falsely believing that their computers were infected with "malware" or had other critical errors to induce them to purchase "scareware" software products that had limited or no ability to remedy the purported, but nonexistent, defects. The alleged scheme is widely regarded as one of the fastest-growing and most prevalent types of Internet fraud.

Two defendants, Bjorn Daniel Sundin and Shaileshkumar P. Jain, with others owned and operated Innovative Marketing Inc. (IM), a company registered in Belize that purported to sell anti-virus and computer performance/repair software through the internet and that operated a subsidiary called Innovative Marketing Ukraine, located in Kiev. The company appeared to close down last year after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a federal lawsuit in Maryland seeking to end the allegedly fraudulent practices.

Jain, 40, who was IM's chief executive officer, is a U.S. citizen and is believed to be living in Ukraine. Sundin, 31, who was IM's chief technology officer and chief operating officer, is a Swedish citizen and is believed to be in Sweden.

The third defendant, James Reno, 26, of Amelia, Ohio, with others owned and operated the former Byte Hosting Internet Services, which operated call centers that provided technical and billing support to victim consumers on behalf of IM. Reno is expected to present himself for arraignment at a later date in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

More here.

Hat-tip: Sunbelt Software Blog


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