Accused Man Selling Counterfeit Coupons On Silk Road Pleads Guilty

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Beau WattigneyA Louisiana man by the name of Beau Wattigney, 30, is accused of orchestrating a counterfeit coupon business on the darknet and has already pleaded guilty to his charges. Beau, who currently resides in New Orleans, was arrested for masterminding the million-dollar scheme on the Silk Road by taking advantage of its anonymity. According to reports from the Justice Department, he has confessed to producing counterfeit coupons for more than 50 businesses with help from other co-conspirators.

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Using two different screen names “MoxDiamond” and “GoldenLotus”, Wattigney designed his Silk Road coupons to look exactly like those produced by real manufacturers. He did this by adding trademarked logos of reputable voucher distributors such as SmartSource, RedPlum, Hopster and Coupons.com. Through his fraudulent activities, the man amassed an estimated $75,000 and allowed his customers to rip off companies such as Wal-Mart and Visa.

One of these fake coupons allowed people to buy $50 Visa Gift Cards for one cent only, while in another disclosed message to a customer he explains how to convert coupons and get $49.99 worth of items from Wal-Mart. He’s been charged of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trademark counterfeiting. Likewise, federal agents have been publicly promoting this case as part of their broader crackdown on cybercrime networks such as the Silk Road.

While explaining how to redeem his coupons on Walmart, Wattigney told a Silk Road customer that it’s best to do so when a Self-Checkout attendant is walking around or engaged in helping other buyers. Beau says that he tried the trick before in numerous occasions and it worked out perfectly, in fact there’s a time he managed to redeem more than 10 coupons in one day.

Gavel HammerHis syndicate ran for a 12-month period, where he sold an estimated 2,000 sets of counterfeit vouchers for roughly $54.44 each. A statement from the government confirms that “MoxDiamond” was first charged in May 2015, but an official sentencing is set for October 28th. If redeemed, The Silk Road vouchers would have cost affected companies more than $1 million in losses.

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