The proliferation of Internet sites that allow online purchasing has spurred an increase in common crimes that rely on the vulnerability of various websites to hacking and unauthorized use of information obtained from such sites. A Brooklyn man has recently been charged with a federal crime of cyber theft in connection with the unauthorized use of customer information obtained from the Wegmans grocery chain website.
According to the FBI, the suspect was first detected by the Bureau’s Cybercrimes Task Force in Buffalo. In a court statement filed in connection with the case, an FBI special agent said that the suspect was able to gain online access to approximately 50 customer accounts, including credit card numbers. The suspect is charged with using this information to make almost 25 fraudulent orders for groceries and other goods. The total amount of these purchases is alleged to be approximately $10,000. Wegmans was notified of the fraudulent activity, and it took several preventive measures, including blacklisting certain IP addresses from accessing its customer accounts and also imposing multifactor authentications on all customer accounts.
The stolen groceries were allegedly delivered to a Brooklyn apartment rented by the grandmother of a person connected to the suspect. The defendant was given a court-appointed attorney after he said that he could not afford representation.
The defendant in this is facing serious criminal charges for which he could be sentenced to incarceration and payment of reparations to Wegmans and the defrauded customers. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the evidence and an opinion on the likelihood of being convicted or negotiating an acceptable plea agreement.