Nebraska man allegedly defrauded millions of cloud providers through cryptojacking


A 45-year-old Nebraska man is due in federal court in Omaha on Tuesday for allegedly running a “cryptojacking” operation that defrauded cloud computing service providers of millions of services.

Charles O. Parks III was arrested April 13 and charged with wire fraud, money laundering and engaging in illegal monetary transactions, prosecutors said.

According to an indictment unveiled Monday, from January 2021 to August 2021, Parks registered accounts with several cloud providers using email addresses with domains linked to his companies, including MultiMillionaire LLC. Using their “immense amounts of computer processing and storage,” Parks allegedly mined more than $970,000 worth of cryptocurrency.

Cryptojacking is the term for when another entity’s resources are used to mine cryptocurrency against their will or knowledge.

According to prosecutors, Parks defrauded the two unnamed but “well-known” cloud providers out of $3.5 million in computing resources.

He allegedly created five accounts at one company using different names and email addresses, and managed to trick them into granting him certain benefits, such as deferred billing and high levels of cloud computing services.

On two occasions, Parks began using a new account within a day of his previous account being suspended for “non-payment and fraudulent activity,” prosecutors allege.

“The parks converted and laundered cryptocurrency proceeds through cryptocurrency exchanges, a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, an online payment provider, and traditional bank accounts, in order to conceal the audit trail and disassociate fraud funds,” the ministry said. said justice.

After converting his profits into U.S. dollars, Parks allegedly made spectacular purchases, such as a luxury car, expensive jewelry, and first-class travel tickets.

He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for wire fraud and 10 years for illegal monetary transactions.

Earlier this year, a Ukrainian national was arrested for allegedly infecting the servers of a “famous” US cloud service provider with cryptomining malware.

In May 2023, researchers tracked down a group of hackers attack Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts to set up illicit mining operations.

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