Israeli citizen, Tal Prihar, age 37, who lives in Brazil pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering in March 2021. It's been announced that Prihar was sentenced to 97 months in prison for the operation of DeepDotWeb (DDW).
Prihar was the owner and operator of DDW which started operation in October 2013. Prihar operated DDW with co-defendant Michael Phan, aged 34, also of Israel.
Besides giving general information about the Darknet, DDW also gave users direct links to illegal Darknet marketplaces. These marketplaces weren’t accessible with traditional search engines.
Prihar and Phan received over $8 Million in kickbacks from purchases of contraband on Darknet marketplaces. (Source.)
The kickback payments received were in the form of virtual currency. The currency included approximately 8,155 bitcoins which were worth about $8.4 million at the time of their transactions.
In order to hide the illegal payments, Prihar would transfer the payments from his DDW bitcoin wallet to other bitcoin accounts and to accounts at bans that he controlled under shell company names.
In April 2019, the federal authorities seized the DDW. Prihar agreed to forfeit $8,414.173.
Phan is still abroad while the extradition proceedings in Israel are taking place.
The DDW was a website connecting internet users with Darknet marketplaces. From there, users could buy illegal firearms, malware and hacking tools, stolen financial data, heroin, fentanyl and other illicit materials.
This case was prosecuted by (1) Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar for the Western District of Pennsylvania; (2) Trial Attorneys C. Alden Pelker of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section; and (3) Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.
This prosecution is also a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. (Source.)