COURT DOC: Convicted Hacker Charged With Fraud And Identity Theft Committed While Incarcerated In Federal Prison

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January 8, 2021

A federal complaint was unsealed today charging Ardit Ferizi with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Ardit Ferizi, 25, a Kosovo citizen, last resided in Malaysia before being brought to the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) in 2016 to face federal criminal charges. Ferizi pleaded guilty to unauthorized access of computer information and to providing material support to a foreign terrorist group by providing personally identifiable information of United States government personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). He was sentenced to 20 years incarceration in the federal Bureau of Prisons.

According to the complaint, Ferizis sentence was reduced in December 2020 to time-served, plus 10 years of supervised release to be served in Kosovo, following the granting of a motion for compassionate release by an EDVA federal judge. Ferizi was awaiting deportation when the FBI determined he continued his criminal activities and had committed multiple new federal offenses while incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana.

According to an FBI agents affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, in 2017 and 2018 Ferizi had been involved in multiple fraudulent schemes from prison by coordinating with a family member who was operating Ferizis email accounts while Ferizi was incarcerated. Ferizi instructed the family member to keep my email alive and not expiring and passed his email addresses and passwords on to his family member. The FBI was able to determine that at least one email account included large databases of stolen personally identifiable information, extensive lists of stolen email accounts, partial credit card numbers, passwords, and other confidential information.

According to the complaint affidavit, the databases of stolen personal information were the fruits of Ferizis criminal hacking activity. Based on an IP address resolving to Kosovo, login activity to Ferizis other e-mail accounts, and other investigative information, it was determined the family member downloaded the databases of stolen information to liquidate the proceeds of Ferizis previous criminal hacking activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)

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