Judge Sends Cybercriminals to Jail and Orders $39.1 Million in Restitution


After more than two months of trial, last December a Dallas, Texas jury convicted a group of defendants of a massive cybercrime conspiracy to defraud telecommunications companies, and related charges. The Dallas Morning News reported that in May 2012 that US District Judge Sidney Fitzwater sentenced:

  • Matthew Norman Simpson to 40 years in jail and ordered restitution of about $17.6 million,
  • Nathan Todd Shafer to 9 year in jail and ordered restitution of $3.3 million, and
  • Michael Blaine Faulkner to 30 years in jail and ordered restitution of $18.2 million.

The 2009 indictment of 19 individuals allege that among other things from March 2003 through July 2009, the defendants conspired to defraud:

  • various telecommunications companies, including AT&T; Verizon; XO Communications; SMARTnet VOIP; Waymark Communications;
  • leasing companies and creditors, including Wells Fargo, AT&T Capital Services, and the credit reporting agencies; and
  • various other service providers, such as power companies, insurance companies, air-conditioning companies, web site developers, and others for goods and services amounting to more than $15 million.

Judge Fitzwater called the conspiracy “a massive, complicated, multiyear scheme to defraud a large number of victims.”

Unfortunately the scale of cybercrime is actually unknown, but hopefully the news of these massive sentences and restitutions will help assure the public that the US government can find and punish cybercriminals.

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