The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) recently announced the arrests of Steve Vincent Barone, 46, and Robin Elaina Barone, 44, on charges of organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, and criminal use of personal information, in connection with a phishing scheme that compromised 396 victims’ identities (h/t Orlando Sentinel).
The phishing e-mails claimed that the recipients’ accounts had been breached, and that the information was required to restore account security.
“It’s based out of Nigeria,” FDLE special agent supervisor Danny Warren told the Orlando Sentinel. “They were tied in with the Nigerians.”
The Barones allegedly used the stolen information to order replacement debit cards, which were sent to them at several addresses in Central Florida. Once the debit cards were received, Steve Barone allegedly used them to purchase money orders, which he deposited into a business account. In total, the pair allegedly stole approximately $550,000.
The two were arrested in Orlando, Fla., on January 16, 2014.
“The crime was wide reaching, damaging not only the obvious victims, but also other consumers and our business community,” FDLE commissioner Gerald Bailey said in a statement.