Feeds

Man accused of siphoning $50,000 in micro-payments from Schwab, E-trade

King of the Hill dethroned

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A California man has been charged with multiple counts of fraud after allegedly siphoning $50,000 from online brokerage houses E-trade and Schwab.com in micro-payments over a six-month period.

Kevin Poulsen of Wired News reports here that Michael Largent of Plumas Lake, California, is accused of using an automated script to open 58,000 online brokerage accounts that were linked to a handful of online bank accounts.

Largent then allegedly prompted E-trade and Schwab to send huge numbers of deposits between two cents and $1 to the accounts. Online brokerages frequently send such "micro-deposits" to verify that account details of new customers are correct. Largent's script had a penchant for cartoon characters: Accounts bore the name of Hank Hill and Rusty Shackelford, of Fox TV's King of the Hill and Marvel Comic's Johnny Blaze.

Largent is free on bail. He was charged with four counts each of computer fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud.

Largent's undoing came as a result of the USA Patriot Act, which requires financial businesses to verify the identity of their customers. In January, Schwab discovered that more than 5,000 accounts were tied to bogus information. The US Secret Service uncovered at least 11,385 Schwab accounts in the name of one Speed Apex. They were accessed using one of five IP addresses that were all traced back to Largent's AT&T internet account. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.