Operation Phish Phry got its largest sentence to date: 13 years for the lead defendant.
Kenneth Joseph Lucas, II, 27, of Los Angeles, received an eleven-year sentence for his role in an international phishing scheme shut down in 2009 by the FBI and Egyptian law enforcement authorities.
Over 100 people faced charges related with the scheme in the fall of 2009 in the U.S. and Egypt, the largest number of individuals ever indicted in a single cyber crime case.
Lucas was a defendant together with 52 other individuals in an indictment returned in Los Angeles. He pleaded guilty to 49 counts of bank and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, computer fraud, and money laundering.
A portion of 46 other defendants face sentencing after guilty verdicts in the same case so far. Lucas hired quite a few of these people to receive money stolen from U.S. accounts and wire it to Egypt.
The fraudsters distributed phishing emails that instructed recipients to input their account details on fake Bank of America or Wells Fargo websites. The losses are at over $1 million.
When delivering Lucas’ sentence US District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank said that his actions showed an “extreme disregard for the law and the community” and characterized his involvement in the scheme as “deliberate and ongoing.”
In addition to the Operation Phish Phry sentence, Lucas also received five years in prison this week for growing marijuana in his house. Two years of the second sentence are to run consecutively with his 11-year one, bringing his expected jail time to 13 years.