Alleged cryptojacker arrested for money laundering, $3.5 million in cloud service fraud — ultimately mined less than $1 million in crypto

Burning Ethereum coin
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The U.S. Attorney's office announced the arrest and indictment of crypto miner Charles O. Parks, also known as 'CP3O,' who defrauded and used multiple servers from two well-known cloud computing providers, amounting to a bill totaling nearly US$ 3.5 million — to mine cryptocurrencies that are worth almost $1 million. The office terms his scheme as a large-scale 'cryptojacking'. 

If convicted, Parks could face up to 20 years imprisonment for wire fraud and money laundering, with 10 more years for unlawful monetary transactions. This investigation was conducted by the US State Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the FBI, and the New York Police Department. 

According to the report, Parks created two corporations called 'Multimillionaire LLC' and 'CP3O LLC' to create multiple accounts with the two cloud computing providers where he used its processing power and storage to mine Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Monero (XMR). Parks did this by tricking providers into approving privileges and benefits for his accounts. He then sold these cryptocurrencies and laundered the money through exchanges, an NFT marketplace, an online payment provider, and banks to cover up ties to himself.

Instead of paying the mounting bills from respective cloud servers, he used the laundered money on luxury items, cars, jewelry, and travel expenses. It is unknown if the respective companies will be able to recover funds from Parks eventually. But if not, it will be an expensive lesson to better confirm account details before granting special privileges and benefits which could lead to computing power being exploited by crypto miners.

Despite using multiple ways to launder his earnings from cryptocurrency and mounting unpaid bills, the investigative authorities traced it back to Parks, arresting himon April 13th. 

Cryptojacking, as the word implies, means hijacking systems to mine cryptocurrencies. Earlier forms of cryptojacking involved infecting user's systems unknowingly, using CPUs and GPUs to mine cryptocurrencies unbeknownst to the victims. There were also Chrome extensions which, unknown to its users, used the hijacked coputers computers to mine cryptocurrency without the owner's knowledge. Google delisted these extensions eventually. 

Despite a few companies' efforts to deter cryptojacking, some manage to take advantage, such as Parks. Though the names of the server providers aren't given in the official account, other sources indicate that the servers are located in Redmond and Seattle, both in the State of Washington and home to Microsoft and Amazon's Cloud Computing centers.

Cryptojacking has been a nuisance throughout the years, whether it targets Tesla's cloud computers or personal NAS. However, cases like this indicate the relevant authorities will work with multiple departments to investigate, arrest, and indict the involved parties. 

Freelance News Writer
  • jp7189
    It's not clear how this is crypto jacking. Did he use an exploit or just fail to pay bills?
  • TJ Hooker
    jp7189 said:
    It's not clear how this is crypto jacking. Did he use an exploit or just fail to pay bills?
    Just not paying the bills. Plus maybe a side of money laundering.