Federal prosecutors this week charged a New Orleans man with creating and selling counterfeit coupons worth more than $1 million.
Beau Wattigney, 30, was charged in a bill of information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting through Silk Road, an online marketplace that has since been dismantled.
Wattigney designed the coupons to resemble those of prominent distribution services, prosecutors said. One of the coupons he created and sold allowed users to buy $50 Visa gift cards for a penny each, they said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said the Justice Department “is determined to peel back the veil of anonymity and prosecute criminals of all stripes who attempt to use the ‘dark web’ to cloak their illegal conduct.”
Ross Ulbricht, 31, the founder of Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors described him as “the kingpin of a worldwide digital drug-trafficking enterprise” used to sell heroin, cocaine, LSD and other illegal drugs.