An Oregon man has been indicted on suspicion of carrying out a million-dollar streaming service fraud scheme.
Samuel Joyner allegedly conspired with an accomplice based in Australia to steal and resell customer account credentials for popular internet streaming services, including Netflix, HBO Max and Spotify Premium.
On May 12, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging 30-year-old Beaverton resident Joyner with conspiracy to commit computer and access device fraud, trafficking and use of unauthorized access devices, and possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices.
According to the indictment, between February 2018 and March 2019, Joyner teamed up with 23-year-old Sydney resident Evan McMahon to create and operate an online subscription service called AccountBot.
AccountBot sold account credentials to access streaming services at a heavily discounted rate, rating from $1.79 to $24.99 depending on the service and the duration of access.
It is alleged that Joyner and McMahon used credential stuffing attacks to obtain usernames and passwords for the services, which they then sold via AccountBot in exchange for cryptocurrency or fiat.
By March 2019, AccountBot had more than 52,000 different registered customers and over 217,000 unique sets of stolen account credentials.
The indictment alleges that the men were equal partners in the illicit business but had different roles. Drafting computer code for AccountBot’s website and managing customer payments was allegedly McMahon’s responsibility, while Joyner is accused of stealing most of the user credentials and running AccountBot’s customer service.
McMahon pleaded guilty and was sentenced in April to serve two years and two months on an intensive corrections order.
Australian Federal Police cybercrime operations case officer Joanna Kondos said: “Following a referral of information from our FBI law enforcement partners, the Australian Federal Police arrested, charged, and secured a conviction against a Sydney man, and we also seized more than a million dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency assets which were the proceeds of his crime.”
Joyner, who reportedly went by numerous online aliases, including “FamousCracker,” was arrested on Wednesday by the FBI. He pleaded not guilty and was released pending a five-day jury trial scheduled to begin on July 13, 2021.