Four men are facing charges as part of a conspiracy where they allegedly accessed the names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses of victims across the East Coast on the dark web and used that information to open credit cards.
Lucson Appolon, 26, and Kevens Louis, 26 -- both Florida residents -- were each charged in a complaint unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Boston with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. They were arrested last week and are scheduled to appear in federal court at a later date.
Two other charged co-conspirators remain at large, and officials have not released their names.
According to the complaint, between August 2018 and January 2019, the defendants accessed victims' personal identifying information on the dark web and used that information to open credit cards.
They then subscribed to the U.S. Postal Service's informed delivery notification service using the victims' personal information and a fraudulent email address created to track the delivery of the credit cards to the victims' residential mailboxes. They would then travel to the victims' homes -- including locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine -- intercepting the credit cards at the victims' mailboxes before they could receive them.
The defendants used the credit cards at ATMs and to purchase gift cards and other items for resale at Apple, Walmart and other retail establishments. The complaint alleges they engaged in dozens of fraudulent transactions exposing victims to losses of $1.2 million.
The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
The U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, FBI, Homeland Security and police in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Florida all participated in the investigation.