FBI grabs a Most Wanted Cyber Fugitive

Suspect and co-conspirators charged with stealing the identities of 40,000 people, millions of dollars

The FBI this week said it had nabbed one of the agency’s Cyber’s Most Wanted outlaws -- John Gordon Baden – who is charged with stealing the identities of 40,000 people and then using the information to siphon millions of dollars from brokerage or bank accounts.

 The FBI said it arrested Baden on November 1 in Tijuana, Mexico, in cooperation with the Tijuana Municipal Police Department. He has since been turned over to Customs Border Protection officers and FBI agents in the US and is slated to go before a judge this week.

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According to the FBI, in July 2014, Baden and co-conspirators Jason Ray Bailey and Victor Alejandro Fernandez, were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California. Baden was indicted specifically on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and computer hacking. The charges were the result of an FBI investigation into Baden and his two co-conspirators who operated a criminal enterprise that exploited vulnerabilities in computer servers of a U.S. mortgage broker. Baily and Fernandez were arrested in February but Baden had been on the run since.

The FBI says that between July 2011 and August 2013, the men allegedly engaged in a scheme, whereby they would obtain and share log-in credentials that enabled them to gain unauthorized access to a U.S. mortgage broker company’s electronic customer records and the computer application that the company used to manage these records.

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 Reportedly, Baden and his co-conspirators would use login credentials without authorization to access the company’s electronic records and thereby steal customers’ personal identifiable information. The group would allegedly use this stolen PII, along with PII stolen from other victims and businesses, to defraud merchants and financial institutions. The FBI said losses were in the millions of dollars.

 The FBI had only last month offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to Baden’s apprehension. The FBI said that information from the public that ultimately contributed to his arrest.

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