Facial recognition helps police arrest Bitcoin scammer who stole $5 million

A career scammer from the United States, who has even used Bitcoin fraud, was identified by a facial recognition system and arrested by the police.

With the advancement of technologies around the world, one of the ones that keep getting ahead is image recognition. When recognizing a photo or video, for example, these systems can store the characteristics of a person.

For this, these systems are trained with large databases, in order to be able to identify with greater precision the features of a person. Even if she changes her hair color, or grows a mustache, these systems still allow you to recognize a feature with a large margin of safety.

Implemented in security systems, this system ended up taking a 15-year-old fugitive to prison.

Career scammer who applied Bitcoin scams is identified by facial recognition system

According to the US Department of Justice, Randy Craig Levine, 54, operated three Internet sites between 1999 and July 2004. All of them were linked to the gambling industry, but they ended up cheating victims.

To create the sites, the fraudster created a shell company that operated the amounts received by gambling internet users. The owner of the scam used several names to talk to customers, which gave the feeling of a big company. In addition, he used several accents in phone conversations, which gave credibility to the business in the eyes of customers.

Upon receiving the money, he did not open casino accounts for gambling, as he promised his customers, but pocketed the money and spent it on personal expenses.

During his investigation, he had his passport confiscated, but he applied for a new one and fled the United States in 2005. In Poland, in 2008, he was arrested by local authorities but again escaped extradition.

The problem of the scammer, who even applied scams with investments in Bitcoin during his career, came in 2020, when he tried to open a bank account at an institution in Austria, going through the facial recognition system. He was spotted on the spot, even using another name, and arrested.

“During the course of the investigation, and after his passport was seized by law enforcement authorities, Levine applied for and received a replacement passport, which he used to flee the United States in 2005. In 2008, Levine, using a pseudonym, was arrested in Poland. While at large and awaiting extradition, Levine fled Polish authorities and was not located again until May 2020 in Austria, when Austrian authorities identified him using facial recognition while Levine attempted to open a bank account using another pseudonym.”

Bitcoin coup caused $5 million in damages for two people

One of the scams perpetrated by Levine during his ‘career’ stole $5 million from two people. However, these two victims never received any value, as determined by The Verge.

After fleeing for 15 years and applying coups in several countries, the man was eventually extradited to the US, where he was sentenced in recent days to 48 months in prison plus a fine of US$ 600,000, which should reimburse clients.

“On Friday [13], a federal district judge in West Palm Beach sentenced a resident of Boca Raton who had been on the run for 15 years to 48 months in prison for tricking victims into sending him money to open gambling accounts abroad or at Las Vegas casinos. Vegas, which he never did.

The judge also ordered the defendant to pay more than $600,000 in restitution to the victims.”

This case shows that the life of scammers is becoming more difficult with new technologies.