Nebraska Man Faces Up to 30 Years in Prison in $3.5M Cryptojacking Case

Nebraska Man Faces Up to 30 Years in Prison in $3.5M Cryptojacking Case

In a significant development, a Nebraska man is confronting the possibility of a 30-year prison sentence in connection with a major cryptojacking scheme. Charles O. Parks III, also known as “CP3O,” has been indicted on April 15 by the United States Attorney’s office in Brooklyn for allegedly defrauding two prominent cloud service providers.

Cryptojacking, a cyberattack where attackers unlawfully hijack a victim’s system to mine cryptocurrency using its resources, forms the crux of the charges against Parks. The attack is typically executed stealthily, exploiting the victim’s resources until detected.

Parks purportedly siphoned $3.5 million worth of computational resources from the service providers to mine cryptocurrencies valued at $970,000. The indictment lists charges such as wire fraud, money laundering, and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions in connection with the scheme.

Following his apprehension on April 13, 2024, by a joint effort led by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the New York City Police Department (NYPD), Parks is scheduled to appear before a federal court in Omaha on April 16.

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith underscored the FBI’s commitment to pursuing those who exploit digital tools for criminal gain, emphasizing the agency’s resolve to combat evolving cyber threats.

Parks’ alleged scheme operated from January 2021 to August 2021, during which he established multiple accounts with cloud service providers under various business names. He illicitly accessed substantial computing power and storage space, which he then utilized for cryptocurrency mining across platforms like Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Monero (XMR).

Additionally, Parks is accused of laundering the illicitly obtained funds through cryptocurrency exchanges, an NFT marketplace, and traditional bank accounts, evading federal reporting thresholds in the process.

If found guilty, Parks faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for wire fraud charges and an additional 10 years for illegal transaction charges. This case adds to the roster of notable cryptojacking incidents, including that of a 29-year-old individual arrested in January 2024 by the National Police of Ukraine for illicitly mining cryptocurrencies using one million virtual servers, amassing over $2 million in mined assets.

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