The United States has indicted two Pakistani men on suspicion of operating an illegal online store that sold false identification documents on the dark web.
Karachi residents 34-year-old Mohsin Raza and 33-year-old Mujtaba Raza were charged in a six-count federal indictment unsealed in the District of New Jersey on April 15.
Each man is charged with conspiracy to produce and trade in false identification documents, three counts of transferring false identification documents, one count of false use of a passport, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
In 2011, the defendants allegedly set up a fraudulent e-commerce business in Karachi named at various times “SecondEye Solution” and “Forwarderz” through which they electronically produced, sold, and transferred digital versions of false documents, including government-issued ID.
According to the indictment, the business was highly lucrative, with the defendants making over $1.5m in Bitcoin transfers alone from more than 20,000 separate transactions.
The defendants allegedly advertised SecondEye’s services on at least one well-known dark net forum, claiming that customers could buy forged documents and use them to restore lost access to online accounts.
According to the indictment, “SecondEye customers used the false SecondEye documents to defraud payment processing companies, e-commerce businesses, social media, and social networking platforms, and virtual currency exchanges, both foreign and domestic, by gaining unauthorized access to online platforms provided by such entities, often to gain access to customer accounts that previously had been revoked or suspended.”
It is further alleged that false documents created by SecondEye were used by a Russian organization accused of meddling in America’s 2016 presidential election.
“Between May 11, 2017, and September 16, 2017, a member of the Internet Research Agency LLC, a Russian organization that engaged in operations to interfere with elections and political processes, including the 2016 US presidential election, purchased multiple false identification documents from SecondEye in the names of real and fictitious US persons,” stated the Department of Justice.
“The false identification documents were later used as supporting documents for accounts previously operated by the Internet Research Agency at a social media company.”
Mohsin Raza, aka “Mohsin Raza Amiri,” and Mujtaba Raza, aka “Mujtaba Ali Lilani,” “Mujtaba Ali,” and “Mujtaba,” are currently at large. Their names have been added to the FBI’s White Collar Crimes Most Wanted website.