Head of Shadowcrew Identity Theft Ring Gets Prison Time

By Deborah Gage Print this article Print

A leader of the organized cyber-crime ring—which officials say stole at least 1.7 million credit card numbers—was sentenced to 32 months in prison.

Andrew Mantovani, one of the leaders of the online Web mob Shadowcrew, was sentenced to 32 months in prison on Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

The Shadowcrew was broken up by the Secret Service in October 2004, in simultaneous raids in several countries that resulted in 28 arrests, 21 of them in the United States. The group trafficked in at least 1.7 million stolen credit cards and was responsible for direct losses of more than $4.3 million, the Secret Service said.

Mantovani received the longest prison term so far, along with a $5,000 fine and three years of probation.

A student at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona whose nicknames included "Deck" and "ThnkYouPleaseDie," he was a founder and member of the governing council that controlled the day-to-day direction of the group.

Read Baseline's original story on Shadowcrew from March 2005.

Shadowcrew members are also being prosecuted in other states. However, the Shadowcrew is not out of business, according to Howard Cox, an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

"We're not scratching the surface," he said at the RSA Security conference in San Jose, Calif., in February. "We're seeing Internet crime without borders."

The Secret Service estimated the group had 4,000 members before the arrests.

This article was originally published on 2006-06-30
Senior Writer
Based in Silicon Valley, Debbie was a founding member of Ziff Davis Media's Sm@rt Partner, where she developed investigative projects and wrote a column on start-ups. She has covered the high-tech industry since 1994 and has also worked for Minnesota Public Radio, covering state politics. She has written freelance op-ed pieces on public education for the San Jose Mercury News, and has also won several national awards for her work co-producing a documentary. She has a B.A. from Minnesota State University.

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