People usually prefer to use Bitcoin as a payment method whenever they conduct illegal activities. Over the past few years, this trend has even increased. A recent example of it is that two individuals from California adopted Bitcoin as a payment method in illegal activity. Reportedly, they sold stolen identities and received payment in Bitcoin (BTC).
NBC Los Angeles, a news outlet, has reported recently that a couple in California conducted an alleged illegal sale of stolen identities and made a handsome amount of money through it. Marquis Hooper and his wife Natasha Renee Chalk conducted this illegal sale.
As per the report, both of them were navy veterans. Aged 30, Marquis Asaad Hooper served for ten years in the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer (CPO) and retired in the year 2018. While on the other hand, his wife Natasha Renee Chalk (37) served at Naval Air Station Lemoore as Naval Reservist in California.
They used their links in the navy to steal these identities. Reportedly, they stole more than 9,000 identities (personal information of people). After stealing these identities, they conducted their sale and got approximately $160,000 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) from buyers, said the federal prosecutors. They have been charged for this illegal activity and will be investigated accordingly.
Moreover, the charges revealed that those who purchased these stolen identities used this personal information of around 9k people for committing identity thefts and other associated crimes.
While disclosing more facts about how they managed to steal this large number of identities, the report said that Hooper made contact back in the year 2018 to a company that is responsible for storing millions of people’s personal information. He claimed falsely that access was required by Seventh Fleet to the company’s database for conducting background checks on the Navy Personnel. This is how they were able to get their malicious hands on the people’s personal information. And then they transferred this information to malicious actors only to make money.
Reportedly, Hooper immediately surrendered himself to the authorities on Tuesday after he came to know about the arrest of his wife on Monday. They are expected to face 20 years in prison for this crime.