LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison for his role in a "phishing" ring based in U.S. and Egypt and for overseeing a marijuana-growing operation that was featured on YouTube, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Kenneth Lucas II was sentenced Monday for growing marijuana at his home. He pleaded guilty to 49 counts of bank and wire fraud.
He was sentenced Friday for leading the domestic arm of an international hacking operation.
Federal prosecutors said Lucas posted videos on YouTube showing an elaborate system of fans, indoor lights and ventilation equipment. Authorities found 100 plants at his Baldwin Hills home in October 2009.
One hundred people were charged with sending emails that masqueraded as legitimate requests from banks and asked that customers enter personal information on bogus websites. As part of the scam, millions of these so-called "phishing" messages were sent out using automated programs, officials said.
Victims in California, Nevada, North Carolina, Maryland and Egypt allowed hackers to access their bank accounts and lost more than $1 million.
Hackers in Egypt worked with cohorts in the U.S. to collect bank account information, then illegally accessed those accounts and transferred money to newly created fraudulent accounts. Lucas is accused of running the U.S. arm of the operation.
The U.S. attorney's office said the case, dubbed Operation "Phish Phry," is the largest cybercrime case ever.
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