DeepDotWeb Operators Indicted, Website Seized by the FBI

Defendants allegedly earned kickbacks for sales of illegal contraband, including hacking tools and malicious code.

Yet another criminal underground marketplace has been seized: the US Department of Justice today announced the indictment of two men for money-laundering charges associated with their operation of the so-called DeepDotWeb site that earned kickbacks for purchase of illegal narcotics, firearms, hacking tools, malicious code, and stolen financial information and payment card information.

Israeli citizens Tal Prihar, 37 and Michael Phan, 34, both of whom were living in Brazil and earned some $15 million in commission for referrals that then led to purchases, were both arrested this week. The FBI also seized the DDW website.

“According to the indictment unsealed today, these defendants allegedly made millions of dollars by providing a gateway to illegal Darknet marketplaces, allowing hundreds of thousands of users to buy fentanyl, hacking tools, stolen credit cards, and other contraband,” said US Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski.  

The charges come on the heels of the law enforcement takedown of the the so-called Wall Street Market, which hosted the sale of illegal drugs, stolen data, fake documents, and malicious software. Wall Street Market’s officials earned a 2% to 6% commission of the value of each sale.

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