Skynet Market Admin Pleads Guilty

~2 min read | Published on 2023-05-18, tagged Credit-CardsDarkweb-MarketFraudPleaded-Guilty using 296 words.

An Illinois man pleaded guilty to his role in the creation and operation of Skynet Market, a now-defunct dark web market for stolen credit cards.

According to the DoJ, 40-year-old Michael D. Mihalo, was a vendor of stolen credit cards on multiple dark web markets including AlphaBay, Wall Street Market, and Hansa Market under the moniker "ggmccloud1", in addition to conspiring in the operation of Skynet Market from April 2016 to October 2019.
The nine-count indictment against Mihalo and his accomplices, Simon Kaura of the United Kingdom and Taylor Ross Staats of Texas disclosed that the investigators established that each of the defendants had a specific role. Mihalo was the operator of Skynet market, he was also in charge of acquiring the cards sold on the site.
Kaura was the developer of the market and was also in charge of vetting and approving vendors for the market.
Staats was in charge of checking the cards availed by Mihalo to make sure they were still active and could be sold.
During the investigation, the investigators made multiple undercover purchases from Mihalo on Skymarket. Tracing of the bitcoin used to pay for the purchases led the investigators to Mihalo's Coinbase and Gemini accounts.
The investigators arrested him in March 2022. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, one count of access device fraud, and six counts of money laundering on May 15, 2023.
In his plea agreement, Mihalo admitted he made over $1 million from his role in the sale of tens of thousands of stolen cards. He also agreed to forfeit assets worth at least $4.5 million.
Mihalo's codefendant, Staats, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud in December 2022.
The sentencing dates for the two defendants have not been determined.