Former Navy IT Chief Faces 5-Year Sentence for Selling Sensitive Data On Dark Web

Marquis Hooper, a former U.S. Navy IT manager, 32, is now behind bars, serving a five-year and five-month sentence for illegally acquiring and peddling the personal information of American citizens on the dark web.

This tale of falsehood and cybercrime began when Marquis Hooper and his wife, Natasha Renee Chalk, were indicted in February 2021.

Fast forward to March 2023, and both found themselves pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Former Navy IT Chief Faces 5-Year Sentence for Selling Sensitive Data On Dark Web

The story unfolds with Hooper creating an online account in August 2018, under wraps with a company that holds the personal data of millions of individuals.

This database, while undisclosed, typically caters to legitimate businesses and government agencies requiring lawful access for background checks and identity confirmation.

Hooper hatched a plan, falsely asserting that the Seventh Fleet, where he served as a chief petty officer until October 2018, needed this access for Navy personnel background checks.

Deceptively, he granted his wife, Natasha, access to this account, and they embarked on a two-and-a-half-month spree exploring valuable personal information in this vast sea of data.

During this escapade, they illegally acquired the sensitive data of 9,000 individuals and ventured into the dark web, where they exchanged this treasure trove for Bitcoin payments that raked in roughly $160,000 at the time. Those purchasing this stolen data put it to scandalous uses, including document forgery and bank fraud.

To make matters worse, as stated by the U.S. Department of Justice, some individuals who bought this pilfered personal information used it to perform further crimes.

For instance, one such individual used the data to craft a counterfeit driver’s license and tried to siphon money from the victim’s bank account.

Their web of deception began to unravel in December 2018 when the account used by Hooper for this criminal enterprise was flagged for suspected fraud.

In a bid to regain access, Hooper sought the assistance of an unnamed co-conspirator, offering a monthly fee of $2,500 to “rent” access to the new account.

He also provided false documents purporting to be a Naval supply officer, along with a letter allegedly from a commanding officer, as requested for verification.

But even these schemes were not enough to bypass the suspicions, and access to the account was still denied.

Currently, Chalk faces a harsh outcome with a potential 20-year prison sentence and fines of up to $250,000. Her fate awaits her on November 20, 2023, as this riveting tale of cybercrime and justice continues to unfold.

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