Singaporean jailed for deceiving Amazon, Google into offering S $ 7.6 million price of cloud providers

SINGAPORE: A person was sentenced to 10 years’ jail on Thursday (Jun 23) for impersonating two others to deceive Amazon Internet Providers (AWS) and Google into offering about US $ 5.4 million (S $ 7.6 million) price of cloud computing providers.

Ho Jun Jia, 32, often known as Matthew Ho, used private and bank card data of two males that he acquired from a Darkish Internet discussion board to cheat each firms.

Certainly one of his victims was Marc Merrill, the co-founder of online game developer Riot Video games.

Ho, who was unemployed on the time, used this computing energy to mine about 1,468 items of the cryptocurrency Ether between Nov 21, 2017, and Mar 1, 2018.

He later bought about 203 items of the illegally acquired Ether, making greater than S $ 347,000, which he spent on private bills.

In March, he pleaded responsible to 12 costs, together with offences underneath the Pc Misuse and Cybersecurity Act and dishonest by personation.

His complete sentence consists of three years and 5 months in jail for consuming methamphetamine and one other drug-related cost.

One other 14 costs had been thought-about for sentencing.

The court docket beforehand heard arguments from the prosecution and protection on the sentence to be imposed on Ho.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ryan Lim had requested for not less than 10 years’ jail for what he known as a extremely refined scheme carried out totally by the Web, enabling Ho to cover his id in the course of the offences.

“It’s essential that would-be criminals are strongly deterred from utilizing the Web as an affordable, handy and efficient means to commit crime,” he mentioned final month.

Mr Lim additionally highlighted the transnational nature of Ho’s offenses, arguing that they threatened to undermine Singapore’s repute as a monetary and business hub.

Protection lawyer SS Dhillon had mentioned that whereas the quantity concerned within the offences was excessive, there have been no “precise bodily monies” misplaced.

He argued that AWS and Google suffered a lack of income within the type of charges for cloud computing providers, however that the 2 males Ho impersonated didn’t lose any cash.

He additionally highlighted Ho’s prognosis of adjustment dysfunction from across the finish of 2017 to August 2018, and his psychological well being historical past that noticed him spend time as a affected person on the Institute of Psychological Well being (IMH) prior to now.

In her judgment on Thursday, District Decide Brenda Tan highlighted the magnitude and class of Ho’s offences and the extent of hurt his actions precipitated.

“By means of his deceptions, Mr Ho fraudulently obtained providers price an enormous worth of greater than US $ 5.4 million, of which there was no restitution or compensation,” she mentioned.

She granted a one-month deferment of the sentence for Ho to attend medical appointments at IMH and for a check-up, and to see to his work commitments.

Ho is at present out on bail of S $ 180,000.


In 2017, Ho solid US driving licenses on a Darkish Internet discussion board that styled itself as “# 1 Fraud Group”. In change, he was given entry to a “VIP” part of the discussion board that contained individuals’s names, addresses and bank card particulars.

Round Oct 19, 2017, he obtained the knowledge of 70 individuals together with Marc Merrill, the co-founder of online game developer Riot Video games, and one other man named Harold Borland.

Ho gained entry to Mr Merrill’s AMEX checking account and linked it to an e-mail tackle he created. He then registered a brand new AWS person account utilizing Mr Merrill’s AMEX bank card quantity and the e-mail tackle he created.

Whereas in Singapore, Ho deceived AWS into believing that he was Mr Merrill and delivering cloud computing providers on not less than 40 events between Nov 4, 2017, and Jan 28, 2018.

Ho additionally did this with a Google Cloud Platform account registered in Mr Merrill’s identify round Nov 3, 2017, and deceived Google into offering cloud computing providers as much as Feb 23, 2018.

The AWS and Google accounts had been ultimately suspended by the businesses after failed makes an attempt to course of cost. Each firms refunded any funds that did undergo to AMEX.

Ho went on to run the identical scheme with AWS utilizing Mr Borland’s particulars. Between Nov 19, 2017, and Apr 18, 2018, he deceived AWS into offering US $ 21 price of cloud computing providers.

He additionally used Mr Merrill’s particulars to register an account with Namecheap, which supplied domain-hosting and different providers, ringing up a invoice of about US $ 900 between October 2017 and August 2018.

On Sep 24, 2019, officers from the Expertise Crime Investigation Department raided Ho’s residence and arrested him.

In October 2019, Ho was additionally charged with id theft and wire fraud within the US.


Leave a Comment