Ferraris, Bomb Threats, Billions: FBI Nabs Massive Cybercrime Kingpin

Leah Millis/Reuters
Leah Millis/Reuters

YunHe Wang, the alleged head of the so-called 911S5 cybercrime ring, won't be driving his Ferrari or flexing his Patek Phillipe anymore after the accused kingpin was finally nabbed by the FBI.

According to a newly unsealed 22-page indictment against the Chinese national released Wednesday, Wang controlled one of the world’s most complex cybercrime networks, with a presence in nearly every country, for a more than a decade.

Wang’s scheme worked through backdoors established he established through various VPN services, the feds say. He operated multiple VPN services such as DewVPN, MaskVPN, PaladinVPN, ShineVPN, ProxyGate and ShieldVPN that allegedly collected data, including financial and personal details, by hijacking 19 million unique IP addresses. The data was then sold, the indictment alleges.

Wang’s alleged network of infected computers, which is described as a ‘botnet,’ was responsible for defrauding the U.S. government billions of dollars of COVID pandemic aid, accessing and sharing child porn, and defrauding people in 200 countries, according to the indictment.

The FBI discovered at least 19 million hijacked IP addresses sold by Wang, with some 613,841 in the U.S. alone. Criminals within the ring allegedly used these IP addresses and personal details to file tens of thousands of applications for COVID-era loans, leading to $5.9 billion in payouts.

The scheme enabled “criminals [all] over the world to steal billions of dollars, transmit bomb threats, and exchange child exploitation materials,” Matthew S. Axelrod, the assistant secretary for export enforcement in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry, said in a press release put out by the FBI.

Wang profited an estimated $99 million from the sale of IP addresses, according to the indictment. He and two unnamed co-conspirators allegedly opened accounts at financial institutions including HSBC where they laundered money from 911S5.

Wang similarly created dozens of fraudulent shell companies across the world which he laundered millions through, the indictment says.

Patek Philippes, BMWs, Ferrari, Audemars Piguet, Rolls Royce, and $30 million in property connected to the investigation were seized, according to the indictment.

The conduct “reads like it’s ripped from a screenplay,” Axelrod said.

The kingpin was arrested in Singapore and is facing felony charges of criminal conspiracy, computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He did not yet have a lawyer listed in court records.

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