Man Gets 4 Years for ID Theft, Software Piracy
A 23-year-old Oregon man was sentenced this week to four years in federal prison for using computer viruses to steal financial data from dozens of consumers. Investigators say the man used the information to set up multiple eBay and PayPal accounts, which helped him sell more than $1 million worth of pirated software.
Jeremiah Joseph Mondello, of Eugene, Ore., admitted distributing keystroke logging programs via online instant message networks. Investigators say he then used bank account credentials stolen from victims to set up more than 40 online auction accounts in the victims' names.
The judgment is almost unheard of for a non-violent crime committed by an individual with no criminal history: Mondello will serve 48 months in jail, followed by three years of supervised release and 450 hours of community service. Federal investigators also seized computers and $220,000 in cash from Mondello.
The government also is entitled to seize his three-bedroom, 1,130 square foot house and surrounding land -- currently valued at $225,000.
Half of the jail time Mondello received stems from his conviction on charges of aggravated identity theft, a crime that carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence. Mondello also was found guilty of mail fraud and copyright infringement.
The case was brought to the government's attention by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), which filed a number of lawsuits earlier this year to learn the identities behind the fraudulent eBay accounts that Mondello used to sell pirated software.
"Ultimately, the judge in this case was sending a message that this is the type of crime that is going to come with severe punishment attached," said Keith Kupferschmid, senior vice president of intellectual property at SIIA.
Given his rather sad and colorful upbringing, it will be remarkable if Mondello's case isn't eventually crafted into a made-for-television movie. Check out some of the details about his past, included in the factual background area of his case file:
Defendant's mother died almost 20 years ago, when defendant was about five years old, his older brother was about seven years old, and their sister was less than a year old. Defendant does not remember his mother at all.
A woman defendant's parents knew from New York and her 18 year old son were renting another structure on the rural property of defendant's family at the time of defendant's mother's death. The son was killed in a fatal motor vehicle accident a few weeks after the death of defendant's mother.
The grieving widower and the grieving mother soon were living together, and defendant and his siblings had a stepmother. Unbeknownst to the children, their father and stepmother became commercial marijuana growers, and were arrested and convicted of numerous felonies. The court imposed probationary sentences, and the children never found out what had happened (until years later when defendant happened to retain the same attorney who had represented their father and stepmother).
The stepmother left the home when defendant was about 14.
Mondello says he deeply regrets his crimes, and appears to be a little freaked out about the prospect of four years in the slammer. The background story continues:
Defendant, who lacked appropriate guidance as a youth, has learned a great deal in the last year or so. He suffered a serious injury from hang-gliding, and underwent surgery as a result. The experience made him recognize his fallibility and the nature of reality to a degree he had not recognized previously. He decided to cease the criminal activities which led to this case. He shut down the operation and took steps to become more involved in his brother's legitimate business activities.
Federal agents came to his home with a search warrant, seized things, and told him that he was going to be prosecuted in this case. He has gone through the proceedings associated with this case, including complete and total compliance with the conditions of his release, and knows that he will be going to prison for certain.
Defendant has accepted responsibility for his crimes. He feels tremendous remorse for what he's done. In addition, he is extremely fearful of prison, and seems to his undersigned attorney to be more openly fearful, and more openly preoccupied with what his circumstances will be when he's in prison, than virtually any other client said attorney has represented in this court since 1985.
Posted by: DLD | July 25, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Sei Moi | July 26, 2008 2:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: bruce R | July 26, 2008 6:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: AEsquire | July 26, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Nando | July 26, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bob | July 27, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: umm.huh | July 28, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Pete from Arlington | July 28, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: StHelens | July 28, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Wendell Daar | July 29, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Jack | July 30, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Tolstoy | August 6, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.