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Internet Fraud Casebook by Joseph T. Wells

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Chapter 9. Hot Wire

RYAN W. MUELLER

Adrian Vargas was a young man with big dreams. Originally hailing from Texas, Adrian was a proud Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq. Despite being overseas for several years, Adrian remained close to his relatives, and many people would have described him as a family man. Originally, Adrian joined the Marine Corps in search of excitement and adventure. In spite of the miles between his Marine base and his home in El Paso, and the even longer distance between his locations on tours of duty and family, Adrian maintained close ties and frequently sent back letters and gifts. This pattern held true after his discharge when Adrian began sending home illicitly obtained funds and unknowingly assisted investigators in tracing the proceeds of his crimes.

After four years of service with the Marines, Adrian received an honorable discharge, and the world could have been his oyster. However, life after service proved to be stressful, as reported by Adrian himself in his sentencing hearing. He had money troubles and difficulty readjusting as a civilian. He missed the adventure and liveliness that the Marines had provided him, and eventually found a new outlet for his restless energy that also helped solve his money issues — identity theft.

Onward and Upward

Founded in a basement in Alberta by two friends eager to break into the online funds-transfer industry, www.OnlineMoney.com quickly became a runaway success. Other service providers were abandoning ...

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