A Romanian man has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for defrauding 7,000 people.
Sergiu D. Popa, who resides in Shelby Township, Michigan, was sentenced by a federal court in Minneapolis for a plot that cost around 7,000 victims approximately $700,000, by his own admission.
According to the Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune, Popa used two email accounts to phish for personal and financial information between June 2000 and February 2007.
During a search of his home, the FBI recovered a machine for imprinting graphics on blank white cards, foil ribbons for making holographs that appear on identification cards and credit cards, as well as blank plastic cards and partially created false drivers' licenses and credit cards.
He apparently offered to sell a phishing toolkit for $1,500, with step-by-step instructions. One was found by authorities in his Yahoo account that contained identification and credit card information for more than 5,800 victims.
Judge John Tunheim, said: “Because there were so many victims who were hurt badly, the court believes the sentence is appropriate in order to protect the public. There needs to be a deterrent to others who are trying similar crimes over the internet.”