Man buys $10K in stolen fuel with darkish net data in Ohio: feds


File picture of a fuel pump. Authorities say a person in Ohio purchased over $10,000 in fuel utilizing stolen account data.


An Ohio man purchased stolen credit score and debit card data from the darkish net to purchase gasoline — then he used that stolen fuel “to fuel vehicles used to deliver packages for Amazon,” in keeping with authorities.

Charles E. Smith, Jr., 52, of Woodmere, pleaded responsible May 19 in federal courtroom to entry gadget fraud and aggravated identification theft in connection to the scheme, in keeping with a information launch from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio.

Smith is accused of shopping for the stolen data — which included account numbers and addresses — off the darkish net between May 2019 and May 2020. He purchased not less than 600 stolen debit and bank card accounts, authorities say, with individuals from 25 states affected.

Once he had the data, authorities say he used clean playing cards and a bank card reader encoder/author to create new, usable playing cards.

With these new playing cards, he bought not less than $10,621 in fuel from varied stations in northern Ohio, in keeping with the information launch. Officials say he used greater than 100 stolen accounts to take action.

Smith’s protection lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon May 20.

Authorities haven’t shared why Smith was fueling autos for Amazon deliveries or if he was doing the delivering himself. Amazon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from McClatchy News.

Smith faces wherever from two to 12 years in jail, in keeping with the information launch. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 25.

Woodmere is a suburb within the Greater Cleveland metropolitan space.

This story was initially printed May 20, 2022 5:55 PM.

Kaitlyn Alanis is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter based mostly in Kansas. She is an agricultural communications & journalism alumna of Kansas State University.

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