An Israeli man who helped facilitate hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal online sales pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the conspiracy in federal court in Pittsburgh.
39-year-old Tal Prihar joined the plea for a single money laundering conspiracy brought against him by the US Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh nearly two years ago.
At the time, federal prosecutors said it was “the most significant disruption to the Darknet’s law enforcement to date”.
Your website was seized by court order from the US court in the western district of Pennsylvania.
Prihar was arrested in Paris. Phan was arrested in Israel and is not in US custody.
Prihar is sentenced on August 2nd by senior US District Judge Donetta Ambrose. Phan’s case is still pending.
According to the indictment, Prihar and Michael Phan, who grew up with Prihar in Israel, ran a website called DeepDotWeb from 2013 to 2019. The website provided users with links and access to illegal transactions, anonymously, on the dark internet or “darknet”, an online marketplace that is not easily accessible by traditional search engines.
Prosecutors said DeepDotWeb helped make it easier for hundreds of thousands of users to buy illicit drugs like heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine. Firearms including assault rifles; Malware; and compromised credit card and access device manufacturing equipment.
Tutorials have also been provided for users to purchase drugs on the Internet.
Every time a purchase was made through their website, Prihar and Phan were kicked back in the virtual currency Bitcoin, which they then transferred to other Bitcoin accounts and on behalf of shell companies around the world, including banks in Latvia transfer to other accounts and Georgia.
Prosecutors said Prihar, who was in charge of managing the site, and Phan, who designed and maintained the operation, made more than $ 15 million in setbacks.
Under the plea agreement, Prihar agrees to pay $ 8.4 million in restitution and lose all of his virtual currency and bank accounts, as well as DeepDotWeb domain and server content.
Paula Reed Ward is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Paula by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.
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