The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute

The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute The National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute

Cybercrime Newsletter Jan - Feb 2017

The following is a compendium of news reports, case law and legislative actions over the latest bi-monthly period that may be of interest to our AG offices that are dealing with cyber-related issues. Neither the National Association of Attorneys General nor the National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute expresses a view as to the accuracy of news accounts, nor as to the position expounded by the authors of the hyperlinked articles.

Recent Developments in Cyberspace Law

7th Circuit: Secret E-Mail Forwarding May Be Wiretap Act Violation

A panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a wife’s surreptious setting of her estranged husband’s email account to forward messages it receives and sends could amount to a violation of the federal Wiretap Act. In doing so, the panel acknowledged that such a decision could expand the use of the Act beyond its legislative intent. The case is Epstein v. Epstein, no. 15-2076 (7th Cir. Dec. 14, 2016).

Free Webinar on Mobile Phone Investigations Available

This on demand webinar, Mobile Device Investigations: From Android to iPhone and Back, is presentedby technology support providerKroll Ontrack. It walks through the computer forensic investigative process and provides helpful advice regarding the content in various apps that might be useful in litigation. The webinar may be accessed at http://www.ediscovery.com/events/registration/27392/.

FCC Fines 2 Telecommunications Cos. for Improper Billing

The Federal Communications Commission fined Purple Communications Inc. and CSDVRS LLC, two telecommunications relay service providers, a total of $9.1 million to resolve allegations the companies failed to adequately verify their customers before submitting improper bills. The Consent Decree in the case was adopted on Feb. 13, 2017 and may be accessed at https://www.fcc.gov/document/purplecsdvs-order-and-consent-decree.

Crytocurrency Exchange Operator Pleads Guilty

Anthony Murgio, the former operator of Coin.mx, pled guilty to three conspiracy charges in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Murgio admitted to a scheme to operate an unlicensed money exchange, to defraud banks and to obstruct an investigation into a credit union he controlled. He faces a prison term of 10-12 years.

State Legislative Update

New Jersey bill A2695 regulating ride-hailing companies was signed into law on February 10, 2017. The new law, codified as P.I. 2017, c. 26, mandates criminal background checks for drivers, specifies insurance requirements and sets forth a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination against riders based on their destination, race, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Cybercrime Initiatives in the Attorney General Community

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that Aaron and Matthew Blodgett pleaded guilty to four felony charges for their roles in a craigslist employment and credit improvement scam. Special Agent Annalisa Madsen investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andy Kvesic.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Office of Financial Regulation announced settlements with four operators of an online lending scheme. The settlements will collectively provide more than $27 million in monetary relief.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr entered into a settlement with two online payday lenders and related entities that will provide more than $40 million in monetary relief. Counsel for Public Policy Timothy Butler and Assistant Attorneys General Charlene Swartz, Monica Sullivan and Andrew Chesser handled the case.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced that David Sisombath was sentenced for dissemination of child pornography over a peer-to-peer file sharing network and must register as a sex offender upon release. The Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children task force investigated the case.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that Joseph Gould was charged with three counts of dissemination of child pornography. If convicted, Gould faces three to seven years in prison.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that Andrew Roderick was indicted on possession of child pornography charges. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Allyson Portney.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s Cyber Crime Unit investigators arrested Michael Gennaro, Jr. on three counts of child exploitation following an investigation of Gennaro’s online activity. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.

New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced that Philip Carr was indicted for allegedly attempting to lure an underage girl into a sexual encounter by sending her sexually explicit texts. Deputy Attorney General Joseph Remy presented the case to the grand jury.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Charter Communications Inc. and its subsidiary, Spectrum Management Holdings, LLC, for allegedly conducting a deliberate scheme to defraud and mislead consumers by promising Internet speeds they could not deliver. The case is being handled by Internet and Technology Bureau Chief Kathleen McGee; Consumer Fraud Bureau Chief Jane Azia; Executive Agency Counsels David Nachman and Laura Wood; Assistant Attorney Generals Aaron Chase, Mihir Kshirsagar and Kate Matuschak; counsel Alex Goldman; Research & Analytics Director Lacey Keller; and Analyst Lucas Chizzali.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed suit against Jeremy Leeper. d/b/a Custom Hardware Floors, who is accused of failing to deliver home improvement services advertised on craigslist. The suit seeks reimbursement for affected consumers as well as reformed sales practices.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit arrested Kenneth Ward on two counts of possession of child pornography. Investigators confiscated Ward’s computer and smartphone, which will be examined by the Digital Forensics Unit.

Vermont Attorney General Thomas Donovan, Jr. announced that Andrew Mitchell was convicted of possession of child pornography and violating conditions of release. He was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison and must register as a sex offender upon release.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced that Virginia consumers will receive $15.335 million as part of a settlement to resolve claims that online lender CashCall, Inc. and its president and CEO, Paul Reddan, collected illegal interest of up to 230 percent on online loans. Assistant Attorney General James Scott and Senior Assistant Attorney General Dave Irvin represented the Commonwealth.


Hedda Litwin is the Editor of the Cybercrime Newsletter and may be reached at 202-326-6022. The Cybercrime Newsletter is a publication of the National Association of Attorneys General. Any use and/or copies of this newsletter in whole or part must include the customary bibliographic citation. NAAG retains copyright and all other intellectual property rights in the material. For content submissions or to contact the editor directly, please e-mail hlitwin@naag.org.

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