Feeds

Porn site chief in $38m credit card scam

800,000 punters charged for unwanted porn

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

An American porn site chief faces up to thirty years in jail after a $38 million online credit card scam.

Malibu resident Kenneth Taves defrauded around 800,000 credit card holders in a scheme that spanned several years, according to the US Attorney's Office.

The idea was simple enough - Taves ran a Website that charged punters $19.95 per month to access pornography. When the business failed to drum up enough business, he managed to buy a printout of a list of credit card details belonging to around 4,000 people for $5,000. He then started pumping the numbers into his own site, with instructions to charge the credit card owners the $19.95 monthly fee, KCBS Channel2000 reported.

The cheeky fraudster banked on the fact that very few people regularly check their credit card statements. He managed to charge at least 800,000 credit cards, and sometimes even charged them more than once a month - prosecutors in the case claim many of the victims had never even been online.

The authorities reckon he owes around $38 million in unauthorised credit card charges.

Eventually, punters angry at the mysterious charges appearing on their credit card statements tipped off the Federal Trade Commission. The FBI got involved, and in November the government seized $8 million of Taves' ill-gotten gains. And they reckon this is just the tip of the iceberg.

"Eventually we expect to recover as much as $25 or $30 million," Assistant US Attorney Brent Whittlesey told Channel 2000.

The 49-year-old used the stash to buy a $4 million house in Malibu, and also laundered some in assets in the Cayman Islands and Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific.

Whittlesey said this was probably the heftiest case of fraud ever committed by an individual.

Travis pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday, and is due to be sentenced in April. ®

Related Stories

Porn probe at Ford plant
Wannabe porn stars get jobs site
Smut to drive m-commerce
The Top Ten Net con tricks

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.