3 accused of conning USD 100 million in software scheme

3 accused of conning USD 100 million in software scheme

A federal grand jury in Chicago has returned indictments against 26-year-old James Reno, Bjorn Daniel Sundin and Shaileshkumar Jain.

Sundin is a 31-year-old Swedish citizen believed to live in Sweden. Jain is a 40-year-old American authorities believe is in the Ukraine.

"These defendants allegedly preyed on innocent computer users, exploiting their fraudulently induced fears for personal gain," Robert D Grant, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago office, said in a news release.

While authorities say they expect Reno to turn himself in at some point, none of the three are in custody. US Department of Justice spokesman Randall Samborn declined to discuss when Reno will turn himself in or how authorities plan to pursue Sundin and Jain.
There was no immediate response to messages left by The Associated Press yesterday at a telephone number listed for James Reno in Amelia, Ohio.

Jain, Sundin and others used a company they incorporated in Belize called Innovative Marketing Inc and a series of fictitious advertising agencies to place fake ads on legitimate Web sites from December 2006 through October 2008, the indictment says.
The ads contained hidden computer codes that redirected browsers on any computer used to view the ads to Web sites that would display error messages - known as scareware - telling users their computers were infected with malicious software.
Computer users were prompted to use their credit cards to buy Innovative Marketing software with names such as "DriveCleaner" and "ErrorSafe" for anywhere from USD 30 to USD 70, authorities said.

The money, according to the indictment, was deposited in bank accounts around the world.

The indictment charges Sundin and Jain each with 24 counts of wire fraud, and Reno with 12 counts of wire fraud. Each also was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and computer fraud.

Each wire fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a USD 250,000 fine, plus restitution and further potential fines based on the money lost by victims.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of about USD 100 million and all money held in an account at Swedbank ocated in Kiev, Ukraine.