A Kosovo hacker serving prison time in the US for aiding a terrorist organization is facing new charges just as the judge presiding over his case granted him a reduction to time served. The reason, feds say, is that he kept at it – from prison.
Ardit Ferizi had been sentenced in 2016 to 20 years in prison for providing personally identifiable information of US government personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Ferizi’s sentence was reduced in December 2020 to time served, plus 10 years of supervised release to be served in Kosovo, following the granting of a motion for compassionate release by a federal judge, the DOJ reports.
But an FBI investigation discovered that Ferizi had been involved in multiple fraudulent schemes from prison. Between 2017 and 2018, he allegedly coordinated with a family member who was operating his email accounts from Kosovo.
“Ferizi instructed the family member to ‘keep my email alive and not expiring’ and passed his email addresses and passwords on to his family member,” according to an FBI agent’s affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint. “The FBI was able to determine that at least one email account included large databases of stolen personally identifiable information, extensive lists of stolen email accounts, partial credit card numbers, passwords, and other confidential information.”
“Based on an IP address resolving to Kosovo, login activity to Ferizi’s other e-mail accounts, and other investigative information, it was determined the family member downloaded the databases of stolen information to liquidate the proceeds of Ferizi’s previous criminal hacking activity,” the FBI agent said.
If convicted of the feds’ new findings, Ferizi now faces a maximum penalty of 22 years behind bars and a fine of $250,000, the DOJ said.