Amelia man, two others indicted in fraud scheme - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Amelia man, two others indicted in fraud scheme

 

CHICAGO, IL (FOX19) - An Amelia man and two others have been indicted in an international cybercrime scheme that caused Internet users in more than 60 countries to purchase more than one million bogus software products, causing victims to lose more than $100 million.

The federal indictment returned in Chicago allege that the defendants, through fake advertisements placed on various legitimate companies' websites, deceived Internet users into falsely believing that their computers were infected with "malware" or had other critical errors to induce them to purchase "scareware" software products that had limited or no ability to remedy the purported, but nonexistent, defects.  The alleged scheme is widely regarded as one of the fastest-growing and most prevalent types of Internet fraud.

Two defendants, Bjorn Daniel Sundin and Shaileshkumar P. Jain, with others owned and operated Innovative Marketing Inc. (IM), a company registered in Belize that purported to sell anti-virus and computer performance/repair software through the internet and that operated a subsidiary called Innovative Marketing Ukraine, located in Kiev.  The company appeared to close down last year after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a federal lawsuit in Maryland seeking to end the allegedly fraudulent practices.

Jain, 40, who was IM's chief executive officer, is a U.S. citizen and is believed to be living in Ukraine.  Sundin, 31, who was IM's chief technology officer and chief operating officer, is a Swedish citizen and is believed to be in Sweden.

The third defendant, James Reno, 26, of Amelia, Ohio, with others owned and operated the former Byte Hosting Internet Services, which operated call centers that provided technical and billing support to victim consumers on behalf of IM. Reno is expected to present himself for arraignment at a later date in U.S. District Court in Chicago. 

Sundin and Jain were each charged with 24 counts of wire fraud, and Reno with 12 counts of wire fraud, and all three were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and computer fraud in a 26-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Chicago.  The indictment also seeks forfeiture of approximately $100 million and any and all funds held in a bank account in Kiev.

According to the indictment, after causing a series of false error messages, Sundin, Jain and  others caused Internet users worldwide, including throughout the United States, Sweden and Ukraine, to purchase software products bearing such names as "DriveCleaner" and "ErrorSafe," ranging in price from approximately $30 to $70, which they falsely represented would rid the victims' computers of purported defects, but actually did little or nothing to improve or repair computer performance, resulting in financial losses exceeding $100 million.

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