Head of Shadowcrew Identity Theft Ring Gets Prison Time

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.