Shadowcrew and Law Enforcement: Player Roster

By Deborah Gage Print this article Print

Who's who in the Shadowcrew—and the federal agencies who investigated the activities of this Web mob.

Job titles drawn from an indictment issued by a grand jury sitting for the District of New Jersey in Newark.SHADOWCREW

Andrew Mantovani
(a.k.a. Deck, a.k.a. d3ck, a.k.a. BlahBlahBlahSTFU, a.k.a. DeckerdIsMissin, a.k.a. ThnkYouPleaseDie)
Mantovani allegedly helped found the Shadowcrew around August 2002 and is said to be a member of its governing council. He and other Shadowcrew leaders controlled the direction of the group and handled day-to-day decisions, according to the indictment. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy and three counts of fraud.

David Appleyard
(a.k.a. Black Ops, a.k.a. BlackBag Tricks)
Appleyard is believed by law enforcement to be a member of the governing council. He is accused of serving as the Shadowcrew's enforcer, punishing members who, for example, misrepresented the goods they sold. Appleyard is "in discussion" with the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey, says his lawyer.

Omar Dhanani
(a.k.a. Voleur, a.k.a. Jaeden)
Money Launderer
Dhanani is accused of laundering money for Shadowcrew members for a fee that works out to 10% of the funds processed. Dhanani's attorney says his client has not entered a plea and that he and his client are talking to the U.S. Attorney about a settlement.

Rogerio Rodrigues
(a.k.a. Kerberos, a.k.a. Empire_Kerberos)
Rodrigues is accused of reviewing, or evaluating the quality of, products such as counterfeit ID cards for the Shadowcrew. Rodrigues has pleaded not guilty.

Nicolas Jacobsen
(a.k.a. Ethics)
Jacobsen is accused of offering stolen phone numbers and Social Security numbers to Shadowcrew members. According to the Secret Service, he exposed confidential documents by hacking into the systems of wireless service T-Mobile and grabbing a Secret Service agent's e-mail. Jacobsen pleaded guilty to gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer and recklessly causing at least $5,000 in loss to one or more victims, including T-Mobile.


Scott Christie
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney
U.S. Attorney's Office
Information and Administrative Services
Christie headed the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section and was the lead prosecutor in the Shadowcrew case. Christie left the Attorney's Office last year and is now a partner with McCarter & English, a corporate law firm.

Larry Johnson
Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigative Division Secret Service
Johnson leads the division that monitored and supported the Shadowcrew investigation from the agency's offices in Washington, D.C.

Christopher Painter
Deputy Chief of Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section
U.S. Department of Justice
Painter's section supported the Shadowcrew investigation by obtaining court approvals for Secret Service actions. He once prosecuted notorious phone-freak and network hacker Kevin Mitnick.

George Reitas
Special Agent
U.S. Secret Service
Reitas filed the criminal complaint against 10 members of the group, including Mantovani and Appleyard. He broke down how the group was organized and how the Secret Service was able to gather evidence against the defendants.

Peter Cavicchia
Former Special Agent
U.S. Secret Service
Cavicchia unintentionally exposed Secret Service documents to the Shadowcrew. He accessed a Secret Service mail server over a computer connected via T-Mobile wireless Internet access. That exposed messages coming to his personal T-Mobile e-mail account. Cavicchia has since left the agency.

This article was originally published on 2005-03-07
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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