He was also ordered to pay $650,000 in forfeiture

A Swedish man was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to selling rogue antivirus software in an international cybercrime ring.

Mikael Patrick Sallnert, 37, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman in the Western District of Washington. He received a four-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay $650,000 in forfeiture.

Sallnert was a credit card processor in an international cybercrime ring. He sold rogue antivirus software, or "scareware," which advertises that it will protect a user's computer from viruses, but instead does the opposite.

About 960,000 people were affected, and the cybercrime ring netted about $71 million from the scheme.

Sallnert was arrested in Denmark in January 2012 and extradited to the United States in March. He plead guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of accessing a protected computer in furtherance of fraud.

“Mikael Patrick Sallnert played an instrumental role in carrying out a massive cybercrime ring that victimized approximately 960,000 innocent victims,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer.  “By facilitating payment processing, Sallnert allowed the cybercrime ring to collect millions of dollars from victims who were duped into believing their computers were compromised and could be fixed by the bogus software created by Sallnert’s co-conspirators.  Cybercrime poses a real threat to American consumers and businesses, and the Justice Department is committed to pursuing cybercriminals across the globe.”

Earlier this year, Symantec was sued for allegedly selling scareware. James Gross from Washington State filed the suit against Symantec in a court in the Northern District of California, hoping that it will turn into a class action covering anyone that has purchased Symantec software. Gross alleges that the firms Registry Mechanic software installed on his computer told him that it had found multiple errors with his machined and after paying the $29.95 for the software, he alleges it did nothing.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

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