UK Daily Mail Online Reports 19 Cyber criminals Arrested

Arrest of Hackers that Netted up to £20m from British Accounts

A multi-million pound internet banking fraud which drained thousands of pounds from the UK accounts of innocent victims was cracked by police yesterday.

A gang of Eastern Europeans made £2 million a month from online accounts by stealing victims log-in details using sophisticated software which can be bought for just £300 over the internet.
They made £6 million in just three months and detectives believe they could have reaped as much as £20 million in the highly organised scam.

The mastermind, who detectives believe is an adept IT expert, was among 19 arrested yesterday in a series of dawn raids across London.
He and his team targeted hundreds of victims who had weak security on their computers and accessed their user names and passwords despite tight security systems put in place by the banks on their internet sites.

Police were alerted by high street banks who were alarmed a sudden surge in fraud.

Investigators from Scotland Yard’s e-Crime Unit discovered that the gang were hitting vulnerable computers using software which is described in the industry as a ‘Trojan horse’ because it infiltrates the computer without the user realising.
The system called ‘Zeus’ or ‘Zbot’ infects victims’ personal computers, waits for them to log onto a list of specifically targeted banks and financial institutions and then steals their personal credentials, forwarding the data to a server controlled by criminals.

It can also manipulate web browsing sessions including creating an additional page requesting the victim to reveal more personal information, such as payment card number, PIN, and passwords.
Users have no idea they are being defrauded because they think they are still on their secure internet banking site.
Unbeknown to the owner, computers infected with Zeus become part of a network where they fall under the remote control of computer criminals.
It is being used increasingly by cyber criminals across the globe.

After the gang had taken over victims’ online bank accounts, they would take out several thousands pounds and place it in a ‘drop’ account before withdrawing the cash.
They recruited dozens of ‘mules’ who would allow them to use their accounts to pay the money into in return for payment.
By using scores of different bank accounts to deposit the money, they hoped to evade being caught.
Detectives have so far pinpointed over 600 British bank accounts which were defrauded but believe hundreds have been targeted.

The ringleader, in his 20s, and his wife, an accomplice in the scam, were arrested in an unremarkable third-floor flat in Chingford, Essex, yesterday morning.
Another couple, also part of the gang, were also arrested at the property.
The ‘nerve centre’ where the ringleader ran his empire from was simply a laptop on a desk in his front room. In front of it lay a notebook where figures of money had been carefully written in pencil.
In all, officers arrested 15 men and four women aged between 23 and 47 on suspicion of the Computer Misuse Act, Proceeds of Crime Act and Fraud Act offences . Inquiries are ongoing to ascertain whether they are in the country illegally.
Among them, two were also arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm found at one of the properties. They are all in custody for questioning.
Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson, who led the investigation said: ‘We’ve worked closely with UK banks through our Virtual Taskforce approach to gather information and evidence which has resulted in today’s arrests.
We believe we have disrupted a highly organised criminal network, which has used sophisticated methods to siphon large amounts of cash from many innocent peoples’ accounts, causing immense personal anxiety and significant financial harm – which of course banks have had to repay at considerable cost to the economy.

‘Online banking customers must make sure their security systems are up to date and be alert to any unusual or additional security features requested which is at variance with their normal log-on experience. Greater public awareness and education will make it harder for personal details to be compromised and for this type of fraud to be carried out.’
Martin Muirhead, chairman of the Virtual Task Force, said: ‘This is an excellent example of how to bring to bear the resources and expertise of multiple agencies and public / private organisations in the UK. This is pioneering work led by the Metropolitan Police Service.”

Read more

Hackers Steal Hundreds of Credit Card Numbers from Restaurant Patrons

September 24, The New New Internet – (California)

Hackers steal hundreds of credit-card numbers from restaurant patrons. Visits to several California-based restaurants turned out much more expensive than customers ever imagined. Police in Roseville, California, the week of September 13 revealed that nearly 200 customers had their credit-card numbers stolen after patronizing the eateries. While the police did not reveal which restaurants were affected due to the ongoing investigation, they said the restaurants themselves are not responsible. “We believe the breach is not actually at the restaurant but a third-party vendor that’s in the process between using your credit card at the restaurant and actually billing the bank,” a police captain told 3KCRA. Because of the complexity of the scheme, Roseville police have asked the Secret Service for help catching the criminals.

In Davis, police are dealing with similar issues. They have seen a 50 percent increase in identity thefts. While police will not say where the cards are being copied, they revealed that crooks use them at Target stores in the Bay Area and as far away as Irvine.

Source: credit-card-numbers-from-restaurant-patrons/ sues vs

Xcentric Ventures, LLC. d/b/a as sues for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and unfair business practices/unfair competition. They are seeking an injunctive relief.

Well is it wise for to initiate such lawsuit? Is it warranted? The truth is that there is not a clear answer. There are pros and cons that could go either way.

This is our THOUGHTS. as does offer an avenue for injustice.  Such sites for the global community to voice their complaints, unfiltered and uncensored. That’s the beauty and therein lies the danger.  Are these postings false accusations or factual complaints.

Critics of suggest that their consumer advocacy program is a money making business for Ed Magedson its founder and owner. The program charges individuals or companies who would like to have posted reports remove.  They have accised Mr. Magedson of being an “internet terrorist” and other unkind words. These same charges have been level against consumer advocate Les Henderson who runs Crime of Persuasion Blog, Esa Suurio, founder of Web of Trust – and us for its part burst onto the scene within the last two years and have soared in popularity. What we do know is that the operators of are professionals who develop web properties for the purpose of maximizing profit. Consumer advocacy does not appear to be their first priority.

We also know that this group is based in either of these cities or country Seattle, WA, Los Angeles, CA, Canada or India. They are also associated with the Canadian Pharmacy or other Online Pharmacy websites.

These “Professional Consumer Advocay” websites represent a CLEAR and PRESENT danger. They are like WalMart coming to town. They lack the moral compass to advocate on consumer behave.

Legislation Governing Online Drug Sale

Department of Justice – Ryan Haight

Oct 22, 2008
By: George Koroneos, Online Content & News Editor

If you had a drug dealer selling heroin out of your living room, chances are you would do something about it. That’s the predicament many Web hosting and domain registration companies have faced, as the number of illegal online pharmacies has spiked in the past few years.

President Bush, last week, signed into a law a bill that would give companies such as GoDaddy and Lunarpages the ability to remove Web sites of online pharmacies that are not registered as government-approved medication sellers. Under the new rules, if a Web site is making drugs available for sale in the US and they don’t comply with the statute, the hosting companies can shut the site down regardless of where the pharmacy is located.

“We are seeing so many pharmaceuticals—a dramatic increase over the last three years—online,” said Christine Jones, general counsel for GoDaddy, host to 31 million online domains.  “We were looking for a better solution than simply redirecting domain names for SPAM, which is all we could do in the past.”

The legislation came into existence after Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) became involved with a case in which ateenager overdosed on Vicodin. The drugs were obtained from an online pharmacy without a prescription. The Senate version of the bill made its way through the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

“We’re one step closer to ending the practice of rogue pharmacies on the Internet,” said Feinstein in a release. “We can no longer stand back and allow these outfits to sell highly addictive medications to anyone with a computer mouse and a credit card.”

Jones notes that there is no statutory obligation for an online pharmacy to receive verified Internet pharmacy practice sites (VIPPS) certification. “VIPPS is an extra layer of protection, but there is no requirement that says if you are not certified by VIPPS, you can’t sell drugs online,” she said. “We were looking for something that would make the sale of drugs without registration illegal. Just like child pornography is illegal and taken down immediately on the Web.”

By definition, the largest server providers also host the most illegal pharmacy sites. Last year, GoDaddy redirected 1,300 pharmacy related domain names for SPAM. In effect, if a spammer is sending emails from, and the host receives a SPAM complaint, the domain is taken away. GoDaddy wanted a tool that would easily allow the company to take a Web site offline without having to buy and test the drugs, get a prescription, or make people see a doctor.

“[Under the old rules] we couldn’t take your content away, but you are not allowed to use domain names that are registered to GoDaddy,” Jones said. “We weren’t allowed to take the underlying Web site down, because they weren’t doing anything wrong.”

Even though the registration period isn’t for another six months, GoDaddy has taken a number of URLs that it knew to be violating the prescription rules and have redirected them.

“A lot goes into that law enforcement investigation before a site can come down—we would like to squash that a little earlier,” Jones said. “I always try to encourage people, when they come across a shady site, figure out who the hosting company is and send an email to their abuse department. We rely on those notices to do our investigation.”

Open Congress – Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008

Official Summary

4/1/2008–Passed Senate amended. Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 – Amends the Controlled Substances Act to prohibit the delivery, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances over the Internet without a valid prescription. Exempts telemedicine practitioners. Defines “valid prescription” as a prescription that is issued for a legitimate purpose by a practitioner who has conducted at least one in-person medical evaluation of the patient. Adds definitions to the Controlled Substances Act relating to online pharmacies and the issuance of prescriptions over the Internet.
Imposes registration and reporting requirements on online pharmacies.
Requires an online pharmacy to:
(1) display on its Internet homepage a statement that it complies with the requirements of this Act;
(2) comply with state laws for the licensure of pharmacies in each state in which it operates or sells controlled substances;
(3) post on its Internet homepage specified information, including the name, address, and telephone number of the pharmacy, the qualifications of its pharmacist-in-charge, and a certification of its registration under this Act; and
(4) notify the Attorney General and applicable state boards of pharmacy at least 30 days prior to offering to sell, deliver, distribute, or dispense controlled substances over the Internet.
Authorizes the Attorney General to issue a special registration under this Act for telemedicine practitioners.
Increases criminal penalties involving controlled substances in Schedules III, IV, and V of the Controlled Substances Act. Authorizes states to apply for injunctions or obtain damages and other civil remedies against online pharmacies that are deemed a threat to state residents.
Requires the U.S. Sentencing Commission, in determining whether to amend or establish new sentencing guidelines to conform the guidelines and policy statements to this Act, to consult with the Department of Justice (DOJ), experts, and other affected parties concerning which penalties for scheduled substances should be reflected.
Requires the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to report to Congress after the enactment of this Act and annually for two years after such initial report on:
(1) the foreign supply chains and sources of controlled substances offered for sale without a valid prescription on the Internet;
(2) DEA efforts and strategy to decrease such foreign supply chains; and
(3) DEA efforts to work with domestic and multinational pharmaceutical companies and others in combating the sale of controlled substances over the Internet without a valid prescription.

JM Test Sues Capital One

Louisiana Firm Sues Capital One

December 7, Washington Post

An electronics testing firm in Louisiana is suing its bank, Capital One, alleging that the financial institution was negligent when it failed to stop hackers from transferring nearly $100,000 out of its account earlier this year. In August, Security Fix wrote about the plight of Baton Rouge-based JM Test Systems, an electronics testing firm that in February lost more than $97,000 from two separate unauthorized bank transfers a week apart. According to JM Test, Capital One has denied any responsibility for the losses. On December 4, JM Test filed suit in a Louisiana district court, alleging breach of contract and negligence by the bank. The firm says it is still out a total of $89,000, and that it has spent roughly $70,000 investigating and responding to the breaches. The lawsuit is the latest to challenge whether banks are doing enough to help customers prevent losses when a virus infection, phishing attack or hacker break-in jeopardizes a company’s online banking credentials, said a digital media lawyer with the Los Angeles law firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP. He said that under the Uniform Commercial Code, banks generally are required to maintain “commercially reasonable” methods of providing security against unauthorized payment orders.” But he said just what constitutes “commercially reasonable” security practices has only recently been challenged, citing a recent court case in Illinois expected to go to trial soon in which a couple is suing their bank over $26,500 lost when cyber thieves stole the user name and password needed to access their home equity line of credit.


Three Stars Inc Owner Issue Threats – Alex Difrawi aka Alec Difrawi aka Alex Simon

Mr. Difrawi Business Practices on Display….Dates Backed to the 1990’s,

dateThu, Oct 22, 2009 at 11:00 AM

subjectRe: FW: I’ve Said It All – Thank


We have made you a reasonable offer to settle our disputes.  You have refused our offer as such we will as promised proceed in defending ourselves.
We believe you are an extortionist, blackmailer and an Internet terrorist.  We have hired a Law firm and a private investigator in California to monitor your activities.  We have spoken to your landlord and your neighbors.  We will continue to do the following:

  • Sue you in every jurisdiction which you damage the reputation of any of your companies.
  • Pursue criminal charges for your attempt to coerce an employee into giving you confidential information about our company.
  • Sue any web provider, host , or message board which refuses to remove your website.
  • Investigate Premier Financial
  • Report any findings to law enforcement
  • Provide free legal services to anyone that wishes to file suit against you or any of your entities


  1. Mr. Difrawi prior business practices – Proffer
  2. Mr. Difrawi prior business practices – Domonion Enterprises
  3. Note: Ed Magedson of Ripoffreport and Les Henderson were both called
    extortionist, blackmailer and an Internet terrorist
  4. Also see the So Called Bad Business Report on Ed



Remove Postings

Letter 2008

Alec Difrawi’s Gravatar: As the owner of this company, along with it’s predecessor Internet Solutions Corporation, I can assure you that I have never been arrested for any crime, never served time in Federal prison for fraud related offenses and never sued anyone for saying bad things about me or my company.

Apart from Tabatha Marshall, scamFRAUDalert, Les Henderson, Frank Torelli and a host of others, that is.

ColdFusion is the backbone of my empire of internet advertising based on the pretense that my companies offer jobs to people. I can’t very well help it if people don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid and eat the Spam sandwiches at my company parties.



Ed & Les

More Domains Being Used By Mr. Difrawi


Displaying items 1 to 14, out of a total of 14



Is PORTALHACKER.NET – WhiteHats or BlackHats?


Address lookup

canonical name

Domain Whois record

Queried with “dom“…

   Registrar: TUCOWS INC.
   Whois Server:
   Referral URL:
   Name Server: NS1.EL-HACKER.COM
   Name Server: NS2.EL-HACKER.COM
   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Status: clientUpdateProhibited
   Updated Date: 14-may-2009
   Creation Date: 30-sep-2004
   Expiration Date: 30-sep-2009

>>> Last update of whois database: Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:47:07 UTC <<<

Queried with ““…

 Guatemala,  502


 Administrative Contact:
    Vasquez, Robbinsson
    Guatemala zona4
    Guatemala,  502
    +505.55362172    Fax: +505.55362172

 Technical Contact:
    Vasquez, Robbinsson
    Guatemala,  502
    +505.55362172    Fax: +505.55362172

 Registration Service Provider:

 Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
 Record last updated on 14-May-2009.
 Record expires on 30-Sep-2009.
 Record created on 30-Sep-2004.

 Registrar Domain Name Help Center:

 Domain servers in listed order:

 Domain status: clientTransferProhibited

Network Whois record

Queried with ““…

OrgName:    United Colocation Group, Inc.
OrgID:      UCG-14
Address:    4465 W. Gandy Blvd
Address:    STE 800
City:       Tampa
StateProv:  FL
PostalCode: 33611
Country:    US

ReferralServer: rwhois://

NetRange: -
NetName:    ASN-UNCGI-EXC-02
NetHandle:  NET-63-246-128-0-1
Parent:     NET-63-0-0-0-0
NetType:    Direct Allocation
RegDate:    2002-10-24
Updated:    2003-03-24

RAbuseHandle: ABUSE185-ARIN
RAbuseName:   Abuse
RAbusePhone:  +1-888-993-9339

RNOCName:   Info
RNOCPhone:  +1-888-993-9339

RTechHandle: SYSAD4-ARIN
RTechName:   Sysadmin-UCG
RTechPhone:  +1-888-993-9339

OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE32-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   Abuse Team
OrgAbusePhone:  +1-866-510-4000

OrgNOCName:   Technical Support
OrgNOCPhone:  +1-866-510-4000

OrgTechHandle: TECHN20-ARIN
OrgTechName:   Technical Support
OrgTechPhone:  +1-866-510-4000

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2009-08-05 20:00

DNS records

name class type data time to live IN TXT v=spf1 ip4: a mx ip4: ~a 14400s (04:00:00) IN MX
preference: 0
14400s (04:00:00) IN SOA
serial: 2009030302
refresh: 86400
retry: 7200
expire: 3600000
minimum ttl: 86400
86400s (1.00:00:00) IN NS 86400s (1.00:00:00) IN NS 86400s (1.00:00:00) IN A 14400s (04:00:00) IN PTR 72872s (20:14:32)

— end —

Canadian Pharmacy King Jailed – Georgios Xydeas

April 4, 2008



DENVER – Troy A. Eid, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, Jeffrey Copp, Special Agent in Charge of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Colorado, and Larry Sperl, Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI) Kansas City Field Office, announced that GEORGIOS XYDEAS, age 47, a Greek national, appeared in U.S. District Court in Denver today for a detention hearing.  At the hearing U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe ordered XYDEAS to be held without bond pending trial. XYDEAS had previously made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on March 27, 2008, where he was advised of the charges pending against him.  He was arraigned on April 1, 2008.

XYDEAS’ prosecution is a culmination of a three-year investigation by ICE, the FDA/OCI and the United States Attorney’s Office into the operation of internet pharmacies that do not adhere to U.S. law, and their foreign sources of supply that send thousands of counterfeit, misbranded and unapproved prescription drugs into the U.S. illegally each year.  The investigation netted two firsts of its kind.

Cooperation with the Chinese government:  ICE and the FDA/OCI special agents, and a prosecutor from the United States Attorney’s Office, assisted the Chinese government in prosecuting Chinese citizens who were several sources of supply of the misbranded or counterfeit drugs.  The U.S. team in this case was the first contingent allowed to interview by proxy a suspect inside a Chinese detention facility, which directly led to identifying XYDEAS and several other foreign sources of supply.  In addition, Chinese authorities arrested 13 people and seized about 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of counterfeit Tamiflu and more than 40 tons of raw chemical materials.  This operation was touted by the Chinese authorities as one of the top three U.S.-Chinese cooperative law enforcement actions of 2006.

The unique facet to XYDEAS’ investigation and prosecution: Nearly all the components in this scheme, except for the U.S. customers, were foreign based, operating offshore.  Although the foreign-based aspect of this crime makes U.S. investigation and prosecution especially difficult, XYDEAS is being held accountable for his part in the scheme.

An arrest warrant based on a sealed criminal complaint filed in Denver was issued January 28, 2008.  On February 28, 2008, a federal grand jury in Denver returned an indictment, charging XYDEAS with forty three (43) criminal counts, including conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit goods, importing controlled substances, misbranding of any food or drug, and smuggling goods into the U.S.  On March 8, 2008, XYDEAS was arrested in New York City after he was denied entry into Panama.

The XYDEAS portion of the investigation was initiated in part after the FDA issued a consumer warning in February 2007, stating that people ordering specific drugs from certain internet pharmacies were receiving the powerful anti-psychotic drug identified as Haloperidol, the active pharmaceutical ingredient found in Haldol, instead of the medication they ordered, which included Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro, and Ativan.  The warning stated that the misbranded drugs were shipped from Greece.  The FDA found that some recipients who took the misbranded drugs became ill, and had to seek medical attention.  (The FDA warning can be found at  Further investigation led agents to XYDEAS.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint and the indictment,XYDEAS was allegedly found to be a source of supply of unapproved prescription medications, including some controlled substances, for several internet website operators. With assistance from private industry, ICE and FDA/OCI agents determined that XYDEAS was illegally distributing in the U.S. misbranded or counterfeit prescription medication, such as Cialis, Ambien, Haldol, Xanax, Viagra, Ativan and Meridia.  On numerous occasions recipients received purported prescription medication which contained Haloperidol (a foreign version of Haldol), instead of the actual prescription drugs ordered by customers.  During a lengthy undercover operation, agents from ICE and FDA/OCI received several thousand tablets of counterfeit and unapproved drugs sent by or at the direction of XYDEAS.

“Counterfeit and misbranded prescription drugs are pouring into America from China and other countries.  We’re just beginning to learn how dangerous these drugs can be,” said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid.  “Working these investigations takes unprecedented international cooperation, but we’re committed to going the distance.”

“Importing any counterfeit, misbranded or unapproved pharmaceutical drug is a significant danger to the American public in many respects,” said Jeffrey Copp, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Denver.  “ICE will continue to partner with other law enforcement agencies to eliminate this threat, and to bring to justice the organized criminals who profit.”  Copp oversees a four-state area which includes: Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

“Those that deal in counterfeit pharmaceuticals are solely motivated by greed and they prey upon an unsuspecting public with no regard for potentially placing the public’s health at risk.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue drug counterfeiters to the fullest extent of the law,” said Terry Vermillion, Director, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations.

XYDEAS faces:
*      Count one: conspiracy, which carries a penalty of not more than 5 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.
*      Count two: conspiracy to import a Schedule IV controlled substance, which carries a penalty of not more than 5 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.
*      Count three: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Schedule IV controlled substances, which carries a penalty of not more than 3 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.
*      Count four and five: trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceutical drug, which carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in federal prison, and up to a $2,000,000 fine.
*      Count six: importation of Scheduled IV controlled substances, which carries a penalty of not more than 5 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.
*      Count seven through nineteen: introduction an delivery for introduction of unapproved new drugs into interstate commerce, which carries a penalty of which carries a penalty of not more than 3 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.

*      Count twenty through twenty nine: introduction and delivery for introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, which carries a penalty of not more than 3 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.
*      Count thirty through forty two: importation of merchandise contrary to law, which carries a penalty of not more than 20 years imprisonment, and up to a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI), with support from the U.S. State Department and Panamanian officials and assistance from the Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Co., the Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceutical Co., the British Medicines and Health Care Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

This investigation was derived from the previous investigations of Northstar Pharmaceuticals (Criminal Case # 05-CR-376-RB) and Stephan FU (Criminal Case # 06-MJ-01180).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Harmon.

The charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


NOTE:  No mug shot is available, as release of mug shots is prohibited by the Department of Justice.

For more information contact Jeff Dorschner of the U.S. Attorney’s Office at 303-454-0243.
For more information regarding ICE’s role contact Carl Rusnok of ICE  Public Affairs at 214-905-5292.
For more information regarding the FDA’s role contact Brad Swezy at 301-827-0954.

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. – Foreclosure Consultant

Los Angeles – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today sued a foreclosure consultant and an attorney — Paul Noe Jr. and Mitchell Roth – who conned 2,000 desperate homeowners into paying exorbitant fees for “phony lawsuits” to forestall foreclosure proceedings.

These lawsuits were filed and abandoned, even though homeowners were charged $1,800 in upfront fees, at least $1,200 per month and contingency fees of up to 80 percent of their home’s value.

“Noe and Roth ripped off homeowners desperate for help by charging unconscionable fees for phony lawsuits,” Brown said. “Instead of aggressively pursuing the lawsuits, Noe and Roth strung them along so they could continue to rake in fees.”

Beginning in mid-2008, Noe promised homeowners facing foreclosure or default he could help them lower or eliminate their mortgage debt.

He convinced more than 2,000 homeowners to sign “joint venture” agreements with his company, United First, and hire Roth to file suits claiming that the borrower’s loan was invalid because the mortgages had been sold so many times on Wall Street that the lender could not demonstrate who owned it. Similar suits in other states have never resulted in the elimination of the borrower’s mortgage debt.

After filing the lawsuits, Roth did virtually nothing to advance the cases. He often failed to make required court filings, respond to legal motions, comply with court deadlines, or appear at court hearings. Instead, Roth’s firm simply tried to extend the lawsuits as long as possible in order to collect additional monthly fees.

Under the terms of the agreement, United First charged homeowners approximately $1,800 in upfront fees, plus at least $1,200 per month. If the case was settled, homeowners were required to pay 50 percent of the cash value of the settlement. For example, if United First won a $100,000 reduction of the mortgage debt, the homeowner would have to pay United First a fee of $50,000. If United First completely eliminated the homeowner’s debt, the homeowner would be required to pay the company 80 percent of the value of the home.

Brown’s lawsuit contends that Noe, Roth and United First:
– Violated California’s credit counseling and foreclosure consultant laws, Civil Code sections 1789 and following and 2945 and following;
– Inserted unconscionable terms in contracts;
– Engaged in improper running and capping, meaning that Roth improperly partnered with United First, Inc. and Noe, who were not lawyers, to generate business for his law firm violating California Business and Professions Code 6150; and
– Violated 17500 of the California Business and Professions Code.

Brown’s office is seeking $2 million in civil penalties, full restitution for victims, and a permanent injunction to keep the company and the defendants from offering foreclosure consultant services.

Paul Noe Jr. was convicted of wire fraud in 1989 and the subject of a California Department of Insurance Cease and Desist Order in 2004. Mitchell Roth resigned for the California State Bar in late May 2009, after the State Bar closed his law firm.

P.J. — After receiving default notices and conducting unsuccessful negotiations with his lender, P.J. of Panorama City contacted United First and was promised his home could be saved. In November 2008, P.J. signed a contract with United First and hired Roth’s law firm, paying nearly $5,000 in upfront and monthly fees. Even as P.J. was paying United First, Roth did nothing to advance his case, and his lender foreclosed on his home earlier this year.

A.S. — In June 2008, A.S. from La Mesa, Calif. received notices that his mortgage payments were going to increase from $3,700 to over $5,000 per month. A.S. was referred to United First by a member of his church. Representatives of the company assured him that his mortgage debt could be eliminated. A.S. paid over $10,000 to retain Roth’s firm. Shortly after signing a contract, A.S. received foreclosure notices from his lender. He called United First about the notices but was told not to worry and that his case was moving along. In January 2009, A.S. received a notice to come to United First’s office to pick up his file. Roth had abandoned his cases, and the State Bar had shut down the firm.

Tips for Homeowners

DON’T pay money to people who promise to work with your lender to modify your loan. It is unlawful for foreclosure consultants to collect money before (1) they give you a written contract describing the services they promise to provide and (2) they actually perform all the services described in the contract, such as negotiating new monthly payments or a new mortgage loan. However, an advance fee may be charged by an attorney, or by a real estate broker who has submitted the advance fee agreement to the Department of Real Estate, for review.

DO call your lender yourself. Your lender wants to hear from you, and will likely be much more willing to work directly with you than with a foreclosure consultant.

DON’T ignore letters from your lender. Consider contacting your lender yourself, many lenders are willing to work with homeowners who are behind on their payments.

DON’T transfer title or sell your house to a “foreclosure rescuer.” Fraudulent foreclosure consultants often promise that if homeowners transfer title, they may stay in the home as renters and buy their home back later. The foreclosure consultants claim that transfer is necessary so that someone with a better credit rating can obtain a new loan to prevent foreclosure. BEWARE! This is a common scheme so-called “rescuers” use to evict homeowners and steal all or most of the home’s equity.

DON’T pay your mortgage payments to someone other than your lender or loan servicer, even if he or she promises to pass the payment on. Fraudulent foreclosure consultants often keep the money for themselves.

DON’T sign any documents without reading them first. Many homeowners think that they are signing documents for a new loan to pay off the mortgage they are behind on. Later, they discover that they actually transferred ownership to the “rescuer.”

DO contact housing counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), who may be able to help you for free. For a referral to a housing counselor near you, contact HUD at 1-800-569-4287 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or

Brown’s Actions to Help Homeowners and Stop Loan Modification Fraud

Sued Countrywide For Predatory Lending And Secured $8.6 Billion Settlement. In October 2008, Brown announced an $8.68 billion settlement with Countrywide Home Loans, once the largest lender in the county, after the company deceived borrowers by misrepresenting loan terms, loan payment increases, and borrowers’ ability to afford loans.

Obtained Guilty Plea From Woman Who Operated Sophisticated Loan Scam. In May 2009, Brown obtained a guilty plea from Anna Santos, 22, who used forged documents to convince more than 100 desperate homeowners to hand over an average of $3,000 for non-existent loan modification services.

Shut Down “Foreclosure Freedom” And Announced Arrest Of Two Loan Modification Scam Artists. In March 2009, Brown shut down Foreclosure Freedom, a fraudulent loan modification company that continued to collect fees and mortgage payments from dozens of homeowners without ever providing loan modification services. The two scam artists were charged with 24 counts of grand theft and 25 counts of foreclosure consultant statute violations.

Broke Up “First Gov” And Sent Five Members To Prison. In November 2008, Brown shut down First Gov, a company that demanded $1,500 to $5,000 in up-front fees to modify loans it never renegotiated. In March 2009, five members of the ring were sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison.

Ended “Federal Land Grant” Foreclosure Rescue Scam. In May 2008, Brown ended a scam in which hundreds of homeowners were convinced to pay $10,000 to place their property in a land grant, a phony and worthless real estate document, and then convinced to sign over the deed to their home.

Shut Down Six Predatory Lending Companies. In March 2008, Brown shut down Lifetime Financial, Nations Mortgage, Greenleaf Lending, Virtual Escrow, Olympic Escrow and Direct Credit Solutions for promising homeowners unrealistically low mortgage payments and then switching them to loans that did not match the original agreement, many with hidden fees of up to $20,000. The three scam artists who operated the scheme have been sentenced to three years in prison.

A copy of the complaint is attached.

# # #
You may view the full account of this posting, including possible attachments, in the News & Alerts section of our website at:

FTC Three States Charge Scammers – Grant Writers Institute, LLC

For Release: 07/23/2009

FTC, Three States Charge Scammers with Falsely Promising “Guaranteed” $25,000 Government Grants as Part of the Economic Stimulus Package

Court Halts Operators’ Deceptive Pitches for Grant Writing Book and Services

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission and three state Attorneys General, a U.S. district court judge has stopped an operation from falsely claiming that it could help consumers secure a “$25,000 Grant” – guaranteed – from the U.S. government. The case is the latest in a Commission crackdown on scammers trying to capitalize on the economic downturn by targeting people facing financial hardship. The FTC is working with federal and state law enforcement agencies nationwide to bring such actions.

In a complaint filed this week, the FTC, jointly with the Attorneys General of Kansas, Minnesota, and North Carolina, charged that Grant Writers Institute, LLC and its related entities (together, GWI) falsely told consumers that they were eligible for grants as part of the recently announced economic stimulus package. The complaint alleged that the defendants’ false and deceptive claims violate federal law, state consumer protection laws, and the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. The complaint seeks a court order permanently stopping the defendants’ illegal conduct and forcing them to return money to consumers injured by the scheme.

“Stamping out grant fraud and other types of schemes that take advantage of consumers in dire financial shape continues to be one of the Federal Trade Commission’s highest priorities,” said David Vladeck, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “There is no such thing as a guaranteed grant. But to consumers in financial trouble, the chance for extra income – guaranteed or otherwise – can unfortunately be a huge draw.”

According to the FTC, since at least 2007, GWI has mass mailed postcards to consumers across the country falsely claiming that the consumers “are Guaranteed a $25,000 Grant from the U.S. Government.” Consumers who call the number are pitched a $59 book titled “Professional Grant Writer ‘The Definitive Guide to Grant Writing Success.’” The company’s telemarketers falsely claim that the book will explain how to get government grants – including the “guaranteed” $25,000 grant. GWI and its North Carolina-based telemarketers, also named as defendants in the complaint, then call consumers who have bought the book, trying to get them to pay hundreds of dollars or more for grant research, writing, or coaching services, falsely claiming a 70 percent success rate in securing grant funding. In reality, few, if any consumers ever receive any grant money.

The Commission contends that in addition to falsely claiming consumers were “guaranteed” to receive grants, GWI used the current government stimulus package to make its pitch. For example, when consumers called the number on the mass-mailed postcard, they heard a recording that said, “If you’ve been reading the papers you know that recently our government released $700 billion into the private sector. What you probably don’t know is that there is another $300 billion that must be given away this year to people just like you.” The recording continues, “And if you’re one of the lucky few who knows how to find and apply for these grants, you will receive a check for $25,000 or more, and we guarantee it . . . If you don’t get a check for $25,000 or more, you pay nothing.”

The Commission vote to issue the complaint – jointly with the Attorneys General of Kansas, Minnesota, and North Carolina regarding the alleged telemarketing violations – was 4-0. The complaint contains additional charges and remedies to address state-specific violations.
It was filed on July 20, 2009, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, and the court granted the Commission’s request for a temporary restraining order on July 22, 2009. The FTC thanks the state Attorneys General for their substantial contribution to investigating and filing this complaint.

The complaint announced today was filed against the following defendants:

1) Affiliate Strategies, Inc.;
2) Landmark Publishing Group, LLC (d/b/a G.F. Institute and Grant Funding Institute);
3) Grant Writers Institute, LLC;
4) Answer Customers, LLC;
5) Apex Holdings International, LLC;
6) Brett Blackman, individually and as an officer, manager, and/or member of Affiliate Strategies, Inc., Landmark Publishing Group, LLC, Grant Writers Institute, LLC, Answer Customers, LLC, and Apex Holdings International, LLC; 7) Jordan Sevy, individually and as a manager of Landmark Publishing Group, LLC; 8) James Rulison, individually and as president of Answer Customers, LLC, all located in Kansas.

In addition, the complaint names the following North Carolina entities as defendants:
1) Real Estate Buyers Financial Network LLC (d/b/a Grant Writers Research Network);
2) Martin Nossov, individually and as a manager and member of Real Estate Buyers Financial Network LLC; and 3) Alicia Nossov, individually and as a manager and member of Real Estate Buyers Financial Network LLC.

The Commission recently announced several other grant fraud cases as part of the “Operation Short Change” law enforcement sweep targeting economic stimulus frauds. More information about these cases can be found at:

NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs

Carmen L. Christopher,
Bureau of Consumer Protection

Stephen Gurwitz,
Bureau of Consumer Protection

(FTC File No. 092-3126; Civ. No. 5:09-CV-04104-JAR-KGS)

Three Stars Inc aka Action Investigation

Todd Ulrich a reporter at Action 9 News a local Orlando station has again completed another investigative story on Mr. Ayman A. El-Difrawi business practices. Mr Difrawi goes by many aliases. He (Difrwai) no longer lists himself on any of his websites or companies he now owns or control. Instead, his General Counsel (Keith E. Kress) or one of Mr. Difrawi associates or employee are listed as Executive Officer on public records.

Defrawi does have a history, a felony fraud conviction for a federal jobs scam in the 1990’s where he took advance fees for non-existant jobs.


Alec Difrawi, Ayman El-Difrawi (Ayman A. El-Difrawi),

Alec Defrawy”; “Michael Difrawi”; “Michael Chandler”; “Michael Jensen”; “David Mellon”; “Alan Madison”, Alex Simon, Alec Simon, AlexanderSimon05, Alex Difrawi, Alec Defrawy, etc.

– Breaking News –

WFTV.COM – CHANNEL 9 Reporting on Alec Difrawi & Three Stars Inc.

Action News 9 Story Three Years Ago

Note: The websites or companies name have chnaged as they are constanly changing

Keith E Kress Issues Legal Threats – Bloggers & Forum Owners

Career Network aka Three Stars Media aka Three Stars Inc –

from Keith Kress <>
date Thu, May 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM
subject RE: Cease & Desist Defamatory and Actionable Conduct
hide details 5/29/08

Keith EKress

Attorney at Law

2295 South Hiawassee Ave.

Suite 310

Orlando, Florida 32835

P: (321) 293-3236

F: (321) 293-3203

May 29, 2008

It is irrelevant if the information is in the public domain as you allege. The fact that you learned of the defamatory statements in the public domain makes them no less defamatory and does not offer safe harbor to allow you to post and publish the false, misleading, defamatory and injurious statements which are, without question, actionable in a court of law. As such, you will be liable for damages suffered by my clients. I suggest you retain an attorney to assist you with this matter as there is a fine line between free speech and defamation.  My clients and I take this matter very seriously and they have asked that I proceed with a lawsuit if you do not comply with the request to remove all of the posts on or before June 4, 2008.  As I previously mentioned, I highly recommend you retain an attorney to represent you in this matter as my client will seek the maximum amount of damages allowable by law.

Govern Yourself Accordingly.

Keith EKress

Attorney at Law

(321) 293-3236

from Keith Kress <>
date Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 9:36 AM
subject Litigation- Internet Solutions
hide details Feb 26


As you know I am the attorney representing Internet Solutions Corporation. I would appreciate if you would contact me at your earliest convenience so that we may discuss the Internet Solutions litigation matter. You may reach me at 321-293-3236.


Keith EKress

Attorney at Law

(321) 293-3236

Author: Heather – Got Scammed Too!

Now that I posted, I got what I can only perceive as a veiled threat from Career Network’s lawyer.

I never replied to him, but here it is, for you to see. These people are crooks and have a lawyer trying to squash our free speech is sickening. Nowhere in here have we said anything but our own opinion and experiences and read up, because that’s PROTECTED SPEECH.

Leave us alone, Mr. Scum-Representing Lawyer. We are NOT afraid to tell the truth!

“Dear Ms. XXX:

My name is Keith Kress and I serve as general counsel for Career Network. It has come to my attention that you recently applied for employment through www. and were less than satisfied with your experience. I would appreciate if you would share with me any questions and concerns you have regarding your experience with Career Network at your earliest convenience so that I may address any problems that might exist with Career Network and also ease any concerns you may have as well.

I appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you.


Keith E. Kress
Attorney at Law
(321) 293-3236

Dear Messrs:

My name is Keith Kress and I am the attorney representing Internet Solutions Corporation, its affiliates and Alec Defrawy. It has come to my clients’ attention that representatives, agents, administrators, moderators and members of your website,, have made and continue to make and publish defamatory, libelous, disparaging, false, misleading and highly injurious and detrimental statements on your website regarding my clients’ business and personal practices. In particular, the “posters” state as fact that my clients and their affiliates engage in “phishing”, “identity theft”, fraud”, “scams” and other illegal and morally objectionable acts. Such patently false and misleading statements posted on your website have caused my clients substantial damages and will continue to cause damages as long as they remain posted and published to third parties on your website.

As a result of the foregoing, in order to prevent my clients from incurring any additional damages in the future, we hereby demand that you and your representatives, agents, administrators, moderators and members cease and desist all defamatory, tortious and false statements regarding Internet Solutions Corporation, its affiliates and Alec Defrawy. This includes immediately and permanently removing from any and all links, including but not limited to the links listed in the attachment following this letter, references and statements regarding my clients as well as refraining from making or publishing any statements on any website, including but not limited to, regarding my clients in the future.

We insist that you provide us with written confirmation by June 4, 2008 stating that you will immediately comply with the above demands. If we do not receive written confirmation by such date my clients will file a lawsuit in the appropriate court in order to protect their rights, recover their damages and prevent further damages in the future.

This letter is written without prejudice to any of my clients’ rights, remedies and actions at law which are hereby expressly reserved.


Fake Plastic Scam Foiled – Melbourne, Sydney & Spain

Fake Plastic Scam  Foiled, 23 Arrests
July 2, ABC News – (International)

Twenty-three people have been arrested in Melbourne, Sydney and Spain over a huge credit card scam that police say has cost the Australian economy close to $5 million. The federal police say the group was run out of Sydney and spent about $6 million on 1,200 fake credit cards since March 2009. They say the group made and distributed more than 200 fake credit cards a week. After investigating since December, officers carried out 11 raids in Sydney and Melbourne on July 1 and allegedly uncovered credit card making facilities. Five men were arrested in Sydney, as well as a man and a woman in Melbourne. Among them was a 53-year-old from Homebush Bay, in western Sydney, who police say was running the syndicate. The ringleader allegedly obtained credit card numbers stolen from people in Spain, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia, using skimming machines at ATMs and online. Police say he then passed the details onto a 35-year-old in Potts Point, in inner Sydney, who made credit cards using fake names. Police say the ringleader handed the credit cards on to 11 people in Sydney and Melbourne, who were directed to buy about $500,000 worth of goods per week, including gift cards, electronics, phone cards, stamps, cigarettes and alcohol. Officers say the goods were then sold overseas, and the shoppers were given a percentage of the value of the goods they bought.


Hacker Max Ray Butler Pleads Guilty Again

Hacker Max Ray Butler Pleads Guilty

June 30, eWeek – (National)

A notorious hacker pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges June 29, acknowledging his involvement in the theft of credit card and identity data. The guilty party, of San Francisco, was a former security consultant turned hacker who had been on the radar of law enforcement under his various hacker aliases for years. Convicted in 2001 of hacking into the Department of Defense, he served 18 months in prison. In 2004, he was part of a group of individuals investigated by the FBI and the Secret Service for compromising code in the “Half-Life” video game. Between 2005 until 2007, the guilty party operated a Website called he set up with a partner-in-crime from Los Angeles, and used it to buy and sell stolen credit card data. The partner would then manufacture credit cards with the stolen card information. Other thieves would use the cards to illegally purchase merchandise that would later be resold on eBay. The ring was linked by investigators to the theft of nearly 2 million credit card numbers and $86 million in fraudulent purchases.


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act


On October 12, 1998, the U.S. Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, ending many months of turbulent negotiations regarding its provisions. Two weeks later, on October 28th, President Clinton signed the Act into law.

The Act is designed to implement the treaties signed in December 1996 at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Geneva conference, but also contains additional provisions addressing related matters.

As was the case with the ‘No Electronic Theft’ Act (1997), the bill was originally supported by the software and entertainment industries, and opposed by scientists, librarians, and academics.

Highlights Generally:

· Makes it a crime to circumvent anti-piracy measures built into most commercial software.

· Outlaws the manufacture, sale, or distribution of code-cracking devices used to illegally copy software.

· Does permit the cracking of copyright protection devices, however, to conduct encryption research, assess product interoperability, and test computer security systems.

· Provides exemptions from anti-circumvention provisions for nonprofit libraries, archives, and educational institutions under certain circumstances.

· In general, limits Internet service providers from copyright infringement liability for simply transmitting information over the Internet.

· Service providers, however, are expected to remove material from users’ web sites that appears to constitute copyright infringement.

· Limits liability of nonprofit institutions of higher education — when they serve as online service providers and under certain circumstances — for copyright infringement by faculty members or graduate students.

· Requires that “webcasters” pay licensing fees to record companies.

· Requires that the Register of Copyrights, after consultation with relevant parties, submit to Congress recommendations regarding how to promote distance education through digital technologies while “maintaining an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners and the needs of users.”

States explicitly that “[n]othing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use.

Full Text of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The U.S. Copyright Office Report on Distance Education Pursuant to Section 403 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act – May 1999

The U.S. Copyright Office’s Final Rule on Exemptions to the Anti-Circumvention Provisions of the Act – October 2000

The WIPO Copyright Treaty – Geneva – December 2-20, 1996