Tuesday 29th of January 2018, the Böblinger District Court sentenced Yusuf D., a 22-year-old German man to two years of suspension, fines, and over 150 hours of community work for 163 accusations of computer fraud including credit card fraud, unauthorized data-gathering, and counterfeit trafficking.
The sentencing started without the defendant. In an almost tragicomic scene, everybody was present except the offender. While waiting, Judge Ralf Rose directed some words of wisdom towards the silent and attending courtroom:
“Those who are late, are punished by life.” Not an ideal way to set things up.
Finally, not before waiting 40 minutes, the defendant enters the courtroom with two policemen by his side and with a sleepy face. He’s sorry but he didn’t recall having sentencing so early in the day.
District Court Böblingen
He was arrested in March 2018 after a supermarket cashier alerted the police of an unsuccessful attempt by a young man to buy groceries with a €50 bill. The police then interviewed the cashier who got a firm look at Yusuf before escaping the store premises. Law enforcement proceeded to track down the culprit and found his darknet crime pseudonym: “Azerbaijan61.” They raided his house, where he lived with his father in the east of Stuttgart, and seized high-value goods.
Since finishing high-school in 2013, the young Böblinger doesn’t really know what to do with himself. He wanted to become a train driver or soccer player, but choose darkweb scamming as his new career, with little success. In 2015, under the nickname Azerbaijan61, he ordered for the first time fake €20 banknotes. So-called “flowers” in darknet slang. In the following years, he dedicated himself to “carding,” or credit card fraud.
Using counterfeit or stolen account information, the defendant illegally made online orders in the four-digit range. The young man bought clothes and electrical appliances for a fraction of the total estimated value of 4800 euros. Notebooks with a value of €1600 cost him only €300. Only in rare cases did the card’s security system blocked the illegal transfers and protected its users.
“I was surprised that things went so smoothly,” says the young trickster.
When asked how did the goods found their way to him anonymously, he replied that by using other providers, the defendant acquired two mailboxes to which he could conveniently send the stolen goods.
The culprit operated mainly on a darkweb Netherland-based site called “Crimenetwork.biz” where people would trade illegally-obtained goods for stolen credentials, cryptocurrency, card information, or other products. His second preferred platform was “Fraudsters,” where he’d engage in various credit card scams and phishing. The estimated profits from 2015 and 2017 are in the tens of thousands of euros. More so, the accused had even purchased gold bars worth around €22,000.
On top of the fiscal fraud accusations, Yusuf D. was also accused of identity theft. He wanted to get an Italian passport for 200 euros. With his Italian identity and his residence in Herrenberg, the adolescent was thus also liable for ID falsification.
The “not so terribly professional” scammer, as described by the prosecution, received a suspended sentence of two years, over 150 hours of community work, fines, and propriety seizing. Both the prosecution and judge made it clear that the defendant got lucky being sentenced as a juvenile. Since the criminal acts were rather minor and being under 24 years of age, Yusuf D. qualified under the German Juvenile Justice Act.
An interesting statue vis-a-vis Böblingen District Court entrance Böblingen District Court, Baden-Württemberg, Germany