Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet (2022) s01e05 Episode Script

The Stingray, Part 1

1
- How are you guys?
- How you doing, babe?
- Hello, is this Brandi?
- Yeah?
- Yeah, hi, it's Pat
- You don't have to call.
Love you.

But it shows the type of person
that you don't want to show your kids.

In my 18-year
federal law enforcement experience,
this individual was the most complex
in hiding his identity
that I've seen in my whole career.

We had no idea who the hacker was.

All we know is he was hitting the IRS
to the tune of millions of dollars.

This guy was, like,
running circles around the government.

We set up 24 hours a day,
seven days a week surveillance
on his apartment.

They covered it up,
they don't want to talk about it.

He's clearly very, very brilliant.

And obviously,
extremely paranoid.

I never really wanted to commit crimes.

The crimes were a necessary evil
to get around a system
that I didn't believe in.

I grew up in in Monterey, California.

It's a small town.

Maybe 25,000 people at the time.

Every time you talk about
The same things every day ♪
Lived in a small neighborhood
Let me take a look.

with a lot of other kids
in the neighborhood.

No!
We would go out
and whatever we had available,
we would use it
to have as much fun as we could.

We'd find places to skate
until the police would run us off,
'cause there weren't
any skate parks back then.

You kind of just have to go to a park
and skate as long as you could
before somebody would come
and tell you to leave.

We used to call him Diggity.

You know, "No diggity, no doubt.
"
He was awkward, different.

Hey, Joe, come here.

We have something better for you now.

The difference between
Daniel and many people
is that he actually did the things
that we think about doing.

Do that shit!
He doesn't have much
of that fear towards authority,
and therefore, he just does as he pleases.

As a group, maybe we all
kind of felt like outsiders in a sense.

I just think maybe I was the only one
willing to take things to the next level.

Hey! ♪
Daniel Rigmaiden is a criminal,
and I'm the guy
that taught him how to do that.

That's one of the things
about criminals,
you get somebody like us,
we are willing to do shit.

And Daniel is one of those guys.

You packed up all your promises
Saying, "It's time for me to leave" ♪
I'm from Eastern Kentucky.

Eastern Kentucky's one of these areas,
like the panhandle of Florida,
parts of Louisiana,
if you're not fortunate enough
to have a job,
you may be involved
in a scam, hustle, fraud,
whatever you want to call it.

My mom My mom
Jeez, my mom
was basically the captain
of the entire fraud industry.

And I mean no crime too big or too small.

At one point she steals
a 108,000-pound Caterpillar D9 Bulldozer.

Another point, she takes
a slip and fall in a convenience store,
tries to sue the owner.

Had a neighbor she used to pimp out.

That was my mother right there.

Bad dreams ♪
From my mom I get the criminal mindset,
but I think it's important
that I say right now that it's
I don't blame my childhood
for my choices as an adult.

No, no, it's my choice as an adult
to commit crime.

My sister goes off to be
a good parent, teacher, good citizen.

Me?
I'm just the guy who didn't stop.

I'm watching Inside Edition one night,
Bill O'Reilly's on there
talking about Beanie Babies.

Supplies are running
desperately low in the States.

Isn't that cute?
What would you rather have?
A new car or Peanut the Elephant?
This one they were profiling
was Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant
sold for $1,500 on eBay.

I'm sitting there looking at that like,
"Need to find me a Peanut.
"
Go around all Hallmark stores
looking for Peanut.

Spent half a day looking
for the damn thing, can't find it.

But they've got these
little gray elephants for $8.

So I buy a gray elephant for $8,
stop by Kroger on the way home,
pick up a pack of blue Rit dye,
go home, try to dye the little guy.

Turns out, they're made out of polyester.

Don't hold dye very well.

Look like they've got the mange
when you get them out of the bath,
but here's my first cybercrime right here.

Found a picture
of a real one, posted it on eBay.

A woman thought I had the real thing.

She wins the bid.

I send her a message saying, "Hey,
we've never done any business before,
I don't know if I can trust you.
"
"What I need you to do
is send me a US Postal money order,
it protects us both.
"
"Once that clears,
I'll send you your animal.
"
She sent me US Postal money orders,
I cash them out,
send her this messed up
little stuffed animal.

Immediately, get a phone call,
"This is not what I ordered.
"
My response was,
"Lady, you ordered a blue elephant,
I sent you a blue-ish elephant.
"
That was the first online crime
that I committed right there.

And I kept going.

I went into pirated software.

Pirated software led into installing
mod chips into gaming systems.

That, in turn, led into
installing mod chips into cable boxes
so you can watch pay-per-view,
which then led into
programming satellite DSS cards.

So, the 18-inch RCA satellite systems,
you can pull the card out, program it,
turn on all the pay-per-view channels,
everything else.

I started doing that,
this was probably '96.

You buy the system for $100,
take it out in the parking lot,
open it up,
pull the system out, pull the card out,
throw the system away, program the card,
ship it to Canada,
$500 a pop.

I started doing that,
making a lot of money.

Had so many orders,
could not fill them all.

Thought to myself,
"Why do I need to fill any of them?"
"They're in Canada, I'm down here.
"
"Who are they going to complain to?
It's illegal!"
So, I didn't fill any of the orders,
stole even more money,
got worried about how much was coming in.

Thought I was gonna be looked at
for money laundering.

Figured the best thing
that I could do was get a fake ID,
open up a bank account under that,
launder the money in it,
cash it out at the ATM.

Being involved in the types
of scams, hustles, and frauds
that my mother and that entire
side of the family were committing,
you'd think I'd know
where to get a fake driver's license.

Not a clue.

So I get online, look around.

Finally, I find this website
called Counterfeit Library.

Now it's important to note here
that there are basically three sites
that lay the foundation
for the way modern cybercrime
operates today.

Those three sites are Counterfeit Library,
Shadowcrew, and Carder Planet.

They provided a large communication
channel in a forum-type structure.

Counterfeit Library was a site
that offered counterfeit
degrees and certificates.

We transition from Counterfeit Library
over to Shadowcrew.

I ended up running both
Counterfeit Library and Shadowcrew.

Shadowcrew was a marketplace
and a communication channel
for criminal activity.

We had all these little sayings
on Shadowcrew,
like "all crime should begin
with identity theft.
"
"The perception of truth
is more important than truth itself.
"
What Shadowcrew
and Counterfeit Library did
is they provided a trust mechanism
that criminals could use.

There are three necessities
to organized cybercrime:
gathering the data,
committing the crime,
and then cashing out.

All three necessities
have to work in conjunction.

If they don't, the crime fails.

Why even try?
The problem with that
is that one specific criminal,
one guy can't do all three things.

He can do one thing, sometimes two,
very rarely can he do all three.

That's why
these forum-type structures exist.

They allow that one specific criminal
who is good in one area
to network with other criminals
who are good in areas where he isn't.

When did you first become
interested in computers, technology?
I first became interested in computers
at like a really young age.

Like maybe four or five years old.

I had one of those old,
big floppy disk drives.

No internal hard drive or anything.

That was a blue screen Commodore 64.

It came with a bunch of documentation.

And at one point,
I tried to write a program
that would
bounce a ball around the screen,
and I copied the code
out of the book into the computer.

And I actually got it to work.

I thought it was cool
that you could type stuff into a computer
and then all of a sudden
this ball bounces around the room.

I wanted to feel that,
you know, "I made this happen.
"
I started to just question
the way things were.

I remember at one point,
I was asking about ATM machines
and if you don't have money,
why don't you just go back
and tell the machine
to give you more money?
I remember my mom explaining,
"It doesn't work that way.
"
"You have to have money
in an account and inside a bank.
"
And at the time I remember thinking,
"Okay, you're just not telling me.
"
"I think there is a way
to get money out of this machine.
"
We weren't really supervised.

We were pretty much on our own.

Daniel's relationship with
his parents wasn't very positive.

I kind of grew up in an angry environment.

Everything was always on edge.

When I'd come home,
it was kind of like you had to tense up.

Be on guard is what I felt like.

One morning,
I went to the laundry room
outside of our apartments.

I heard some rattling inside
and I checked behind
a little storage room that was there
and I found him sleeping there.

So this is the laundry room.

It's a lot different now.

This wall wasn't here
and it'd go all the way back.

And then this is a staircase
through this door,
- and the staircase would go up.

- You lived back in there?
- Back behind the staircase.

- That's where you lived?
- Where you slept?
- Yeah, we cleared it out, set it up.

A place to sleep and everything.

He did not want to go back home
and did not have anywhere else to go.

That's a locked door.

I got a deep sense
that he wanted to be independent
from that moment on.

I never asked where he got his money from,
but I did hear things.

Things about fake IDs.

I've heard car things.

I was in court
on just a minor shoplifting charge.

I decided I would take a plea agreement
where you'd plead guilty
and you complete probation.

It would take it off of your record
I walk out to my car,
getting ready to get in and drive off,
this Monterey Police Department detective
pulls up in his police car
and blocks me in.

He gets out and says,
"I want to search your car right now.
"
And what he did end up finding
was this stack of hotel receipts
that somebody had given to me.

I didn't go into the hotel
and, like, take them.

I'm not justifying it,
I shouldn't have taken them.

It was a crime at the time.
I know that.

And they were name, address,
credit card numbers of people
who had stayed at a hotel,
and each one of those
was a felony possession charge
of some credit card forgery
or forged credit card.

He arrested me right there
and took me to the county jail.

I'm in there for three months,
I finally get it down to misdemeanors
then I have to go do another three months.

But I decided I wasn't going to do
those three months.

So I became a fugitive
from that jail sentence.

I didn't want to lose any more
of my freedom for that time.

I didn't want to be in jail.

The way I saw it was, if I had the ability
to circumvent certain rules in society,
I should be entitled to do that.

I think that there are comparisons
between the way society works
based on a set of instructions or rules
that have been established
and the way a computer system may work
based on a set of instructions
or computer code
that tells the computer what to do.

What if I don't want to follow that way?
What if I want to do something else?
- You chose to be a fugitive.

- Right.

But even in my mind, it wasn't
"I choose to be a fugitive.
"
Sure, Daniel Rigmaiden is a fugitive,
but I wouldn't be Rigmaiden anymore.

I would be somebody else.

He just kept going on his own.

That truly is the point of no return.

The Internet and technology
generally has kind of magnified
almost everything.

It has opened up new pathways
to make certain kinds of crimes easier.

Now you can do these things at a distance.

In the vast majority of cases,
these activities
are generating tons of records.

There are records
of the messages that are being sent,
there are IP addresses
which track the person's activity online,
there are backups that people make
of their data in the cloud.

There's just a breadcrumb trail
for these types of crimes.

I think one of the first names
that I assumed was Chris Donnelly.

I rented an apartment,
then got back online
and got associated with some of
the cybercrime message boards at the time,
like Shadowcrew and Carder Planet,
and started looking
for ways to make money.

I had settled on the fact
that I would become a fake ID vendor.

And I ended up getting
a pretty good reputation for good IDs.

That was my primary income,
was selling these fake IDs online,
in the beginning.

Where were you living at the time?
I was bouncing around
different college towns in California,
trying to have fun at the same time.

I was still young, in my early twenties,
so I didn't want to miss out
on that entire scene.

Yeah!
I had large circles of friends
and I was going out and partying
and doing a lot of whatever
a normal kid would do.

- Let her do a keg stand!
- I want to do a keg stand!
They have no idea that you're a fugitive?
Yeah, they have no idea of any of that.

I wouldn't share any information
about where I came from.

It was definitely
a complicated way to live.

I mean, you had to make sure
that you didn't reveal anything
that would tip people off
about who you really were.

You had to watch out for running into
people that may know you under one name
while in the presence of people who
knew you under an entirely different name
and hope those people
don't know each other if that happens.

And there was definitely, like,
a level of acting involved with it.

I mean, if I'm in a college town
pretending to be a student,
you actually have
to pretend to be a student.

I had to have a list
of classes that I was taking
and what my major was
and things like that.

But on a more personal level,
they knew who I was.

I wasn't pretending to be
somebody who didn't have my personality.

There's a lot of things on the Internet
that seem to be real
or are pushed off as being one way
when, in reality,
it's something entirely different.

Even down to levels of people's
personal social media accounts.

What I was doing
was kind of the equivalent of that,
but I was just doing it in the real world
as opposed to on a computer screen.

Back in 2004, I have access
to the California State death index
and I start wondering,
"How can you monetize this?"
You know, I wonder
if you can file income tax returns
on these dead people.

Well, it turns out you can.

I start doing the tax fraud thing.

I'm stealing $160,000 a week,
ten months out of the year.

So I started doing that
at the same time that we start to see
all this chatter about Shadowcrew.

We start to see IP addresses coming in
of different federal
law enforcement agencies.

Back then they didn't know
how to hide their identity
and you can correlate
the IP number to a user.

You're seeing Pentagon.
gov,
you're seeing Secret Service,
you're seeing FBI,
you're seeing all these
different government agencies coming in.

IRS, all these other things.

You're like, "That's not good.
"
I'm actually scared I'm going to be
under some sort of RICO charge
at the end of the day,
so I announce my retirement
as April 15th, 2004.

That's when
I stepped down from Shadowcrew.

As I step down,
Albert Gonzalez takes over
the running of Shadowcrew.

When you talk about Albert Gonzalez,
- you're talking about a big deal.

- Yeah.

Albert Gonzalez ends up becoming
the number one
credit card thief in history.

He stands at an ATM for 40 minutes
putting a card in, pulling $20 bills out,
stuffing them in a backpack.

Across the street,
there just happens to be two cops.

One cop looks at the other,
"I think I'll go over
and ask him what's going on.
"
Albert falls apart right there.

Is arrested, flips,
goes to work for the Secret Service.

We at Shadowcrew, we didn't know that.

He tells the members of Shadowcrew,
"Hey, we need to be secure.
"
"The only way to be secure,
I've set up a VPN.
"
"All transactions need
to go through the VPN,
all communications
need to go through the VPN.
"
Meanwhile, the Secret Service
owns the VPN.

So they're capturing all the transactions.

They're capturing
real names, drop addresses,
everything else to the tune of arresting
I think the United States Secret Service
arrested somewhere between
26 to 33 individuals,
six countries in six hours.

And I was I only got publicly
mentioned as "getting away" at that point.

But months later, Secret Service
came and got me, arrested me.

They take me in for interrogation.

They're like, "Anything on your laptop?"
I'm like, "Yeah.
"
"Well, you're gonna be charged for it.
"
"I figured.
"
Then they looked at me, and they're like,
"Anything you can do for us?"
So, I'm at the Columbia,
South Carolina field office.

I work on a daily basis four to six hours
just setting people up, is what I do.

I set people up.

I've been chatting
with this individual online
and he's talking to me about,
"I need a way to make money.
"
And I'm like, "Have you tried tax fraud?"
When I got past, like 25 or so,
I started to really focus on getting
as much money as I possibly could.

And then I could leave the country
and go to some other cheaper place to live
and not have to worry
about working anymore.

There are a lot of schemes floating around
on these message boards at the time
that you could learn about
and try to do on your own.

Because I made such good fake IDs,
I got in good with some of the people
who controlled those message boards
and they knew about
the really good schemes
that weren't as public,
that they kind of kept quiet.

They didn't want many people doing them
and burning the method or whatever.

I found one guy, Brett Johnson.

He's actually like a fairly well-known guy
on these message boards.

He told me that he needed bank accounts
in order to receive some tax refunds.

I did have a couple
of prepaid debit cards.

I was thinking to myself,
"This is better than making fake IDs.
"
Basically, he guided me into
this whole tax refund scheme.

Taught me everything I needed to know
in order to pull the scheme off.

Here I am teaching him
exactly how to launder the money,
how to do it safely and securely.

I'm teaching him how to do the crime.

I'm giving a detailed walk-through
to Daniel Rigmaiden of,
"Hey, this is how you
can make a million dollars.
"
"You don't have any money.

This is a guaranteed way to do it.
"
"Why don't you do this?"
"You sure you don't want to do it?
Let's do that.
"
It was definitely a light-bulb moment
when I logged into
those debit card accounts
and saw each card had 2,500 bucks on it
from a direct deposit from the government.

I was like, "Wow, we can
actually get the US government
to send money to these
anonymous prepaid debit cards
and go to ATM machines
and pull the money out.
"
I knew he was bright.

I knew that he would try it.

So, just from the rapport
that I built with him online,
I knew from those communications
that if I taught him how to do tax fraud,
he would go through with it.

Back when I was doing it,
I did everything manual.

I got to the point where I could file
a tax return once every six minutes.

I would do that eight to ten hours a day.

Filed 200 returns a week,
cash out at 80%
of whatever those returns gave,
which was a typical $160,000 a week.

All right?
But, a lot of work.

I decided to take it to the next level
and automate the filing process
where I wrote programs
that would connect to e-filing websites
like H&R Block and other ones,
and use their system
in order to file the tax returns.

He's like, "Brett can do
that bullshit all he wants to,
I ain't sitting here that long
doing that stuff.
"
I had my own database
of all the deceased identities
with the amounts of money
that I wanted to receive,
and it would send that information
to the e-filing companies
and they would file them for me.

I basically made it as simple as possible.

You know, I had one job,
I had one W2 to enter.

I collected EINs of companies
from a different database
that would say,
this person worked for that company
and then I would have my software
send each set of data over
as a return to be filed.

Give me a sense for
how much money you were making
off of this scheme.

I didn't really keep exact books on
everything that I was making at the time.

It wasn't like I needed
to report my income or anything.

I just packaged the cash up
into $10,000, $50,000 bricks.

And I would just wrap those up
and store them
in a storage unit or in my apartment.

I knew gold was going up.

So I would buy gold coins with the cash.

As long as you bought
under $10,000 in gold at a time,
they wouldn't have
to report the transaction.

Every year I made more and more money.

There was thousands of people
on the death index
you could use and file under, so it wasn't
like you were going to run out of names.

The limiting factor was
the withdrawal limits on the cards.

Some of the cards
would only have a $250 limit.

Other ones were 300.
Some were 500.

There are some good ones
that were over 1,000.

Pulling money out of ATM machines
was, like, basically a full-time job.

I would spend eight, ten hours a day
just going around different ATM machines
pulling out as much money as I could.

You had daily withdrawal limits.

You'd pull as much money
as you could before midnight.

Then you'd wait for midnight
and then you would go
and repeat the entire process again.

The most that I had ever pulled out
in a single 24-hour period
was probably like around $30,000.

By the time I became 27 or so,
it got to a point
where I needed people to help.

I figured there is
a lot of work to be done
if this was going to make a lot of money.

I started recruiting more people.

I went back on those message boards
where I started
and found people who wanted to help out.

Mostly the help
was associated with bank accounts.

People were recruited
in order to find people who could open
those brick-and-mortar bank accounts.

It definitely started to grow a bit.

You're becoming the head
of a kind of crime organization.

In a sense, yeah, I would say.

The Secret Service
had me in their war room.

Next to me,
two Secret Service agents at all times.

But a few weeks of watching a guy
do nothing but surf web four hours a day,
you get bored with that.

So, I start breaking the law
from inside the offices
while they're watching.

So they revoked the bond,
throw me back in the jail.

They didn't realize it,
but I was only under state charges.

They hadn't indicted me federally yet.

So state judge rules
they revoked the bond improperly.

I walk out.

No one calls the Secret Service
to tell them I walk out.

My mom meets me
in the parking lot and she's like,
"No one called
the Secret Service, I guess!"
And I was like, "Well, I can't stay!"
So my involvement with Daniel ends
when I go off on the run.

We wanted to get him
off the playing board as soon as possible.

There were three federal law enforcement
agencies that played significant roles.

The lead agency was called IRSCI,
IRS Criminal Investigation.

The IRS obviously has a criminal wing
to investigate things like tax fraud
and fraudulent filing
of fraudulent tax returns.

Working with IRSCI
was the Postal Inspection Service.

Now the Postal Inspection Service
has numerous authorities,
obviously involving mail fraud.

A lot of this fraud had to do
with the prepaid debit cards,
and the way the prepaid debit cards
were being distributed
was through the mails.

So in other words,
the hacker files a return,
directs that the refund
be paid to this account
that has a prepaid debit card.

Someone has to physically receive
that prepaid debit card.

In 2007, I received a phone call
from a commercial mail receiving agency.

A man by the name of Ransom Carter
rented a box at the location,
but numerous prepaid debit cards
were coming to his box address
in different people's names.

There are significant deposits
labeled as tax refunds
that were being
deposited into a bank account
in the name of Carter Tax and Accounting.

And at the time, we thought
that Ransom Carter was our primary target,
so we prepared
a search warrant for his residence.

But before we were able
to execute the search warrant,
he moved out of the residence
and he disappeared.

So initially we were dead in the water.

Above Ransom Carter was a person
which we called initially Subject #1,
The Wrangler or the coordinator
for people like Ransom Carter.

And then above The Wrangler
was the person with the computer savvy
that was filing these returns.

We didn't know who this guy was
that was filing returns
into Carter's account.

That's when we started
referring to the investigation
as "The Hacker investigation.
"
We decided to start our own undercover.

We played the role of Ransom Carter.

The Hacker's filing tax returns
with the IRS
and directing the payments to go into,
now our undercover bank account.

But the problem is
when we try to figure out,
"Okay, where are these returns
being filed from? Who's doing it?"
It goes into the ether
of botnets and proxies
where the computers
are located all over the country.

The use of botnets, proxies
and VPNs at that point in time was unique.

He could have been anywhere in the world
filing these returns.

In order to find him,
the number one thing
you would want to do is chase the money.

The money eventually has to end up
in the hands of the perpetrator,
and money is not
as anonymous as people think.

It has to go through banks,
it has to be wired places,
there's addresses or account numbers
or that sort of thing.

So, financial surveillance
is often an extremely effective tool
for catching people.

Daniel Rigmaiden thwarted them.

He very rigorously was aware
of what they were capable of doing,
and he set up the scheme in such a way
that he wouldn't be caught
by these well-known techniques.

The Hacker
had created a unique system
to where he could have other people
come into contact with the real world.

I know we are talking
about very serious fraud and crime here,
but there is a level of,
kind of, genius to that.

That We were all impressed.

I mean, you know,
we were all very impressed.

How big is it at this point
and how much are you?
Well, the returns are hitting the IRS
to the tune of hundreds of thousands
and then upwards of millions of dollars
of fraudulent returns.

We were monitoring
the e-mails back and forth.

The Hacker was starting
to get a tad impatient
about the money he was receiving
and he wasn't getting a bigger payout,
because he's getting it
in small denominations.

That's when the $68,000 comes into play.

That was actually The Hacker's cut
of the tax returns that had been filed.

The Hacker gives us
incredibly detailed instructions
on how he wants this $68,000.

It needs to be packaged
in a way where, if people open the box,
they're not going to notice
there's a bunch of money in there
and the money should be washed
in some type of solvent
so that any drug residues
aren't going to go off
if they bring a dog through to sniff it.

Then he wants it double wrapped
in heat-sealed plastic containers,
and then he wants it wrapped in a toy,
and then he wants the toy
wrapped in a present,
and then he wants a card
put on top of the present.

Basically, I believe it was
to a sick child.

Oh, and by the way, he wants
photographs of every step in this process.

He wants all these photographs
uplifted to some type of Google Document
to where he can log in
from anywhere in the world
and see that his instructions
are being followed.

- Uh, we're thinking that this
- Can't be normal.

No, it is not normal and we're thinking
that this person is extremely intense.

Once he's comfortable
that the 68,000 exists
and that all of his instructions
have been followed,
now he tells us where and who
is going to pick up the money.

The Hacker told us to ship
the $68,000 in the box
that he had directed us to prepare
to a FedEx Kinko's in California.

And it would be picked up by a person
by the name of Patrick Stout.

We thought he would have it sent
to some kind of home address.

Nope.

He has it sent to a FedEx Kinko's
that's open 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.

No one knows who the Hacker is,
no one knows what he looks like.

Our concern was
that he would send a courier,
we arrest the guy and he's like,
"I don't know anything.
"
"Some guy paid me 500 bucks
to pick up this package.
"
And then we'd be dead in the water again,
and then the Hacker could disappear.

The hope would be that we can follow
whoever comes and picks up this package
back to their residence
or they come in a car
so we can get a license plate.

As soon as the money arrived,
we started a 24-hour-a-day surveillance.

We anticipated that once he got
notification the package was there,
he'd be there in one hour.

As the day went on,
no one came in to pick up the parcel.

When he didn't come
immediately, the thought is
how long is he gonna wait?
At 5:00 a.
m.
,
a young-looking white male walks in
and has the identification
in the name of Patrick Stout,
which he uses then to pick up the package.

He doesn't let the clerk at
FedEx Kinko's hold his driver's license.

He takes out his own pen,
signs the sign-in form,
being careful not to put his palm
or fingerprints on the sign-in sheet.

He takes the parcel,
he walks out the front door.

It's dark.
There's no one on the streets.

He starts doing
counter-surveillance techniques.

He starts walking up one street,
crosses the street,
walks down the other one.

You know you're being followed.

I suspected it.

That's why I stopped, turned around,
and walked towards them
to see what they'd do.

If I'm going to get busted for this,
they're going to grab me.

I walked literally right by the guy,
right by the FBI agent
and he didn't grab me, so then I thought,
"Oh, I'm probably just paranoid.
"
He ducks back into an alley,
rips the parcel open.

He walks back out on the main street.

I saw I realized
that there was a train station nearby.

And we thought, "Oh no.
"
He walks onto the Caltrain train platform.

No sooner than ten seconds
he gets on and he takes off.

He goes southbound.

We did not anticipate that.

How do most people
travel in California? They travel by car.

So the FBI was planning on
following the car,
hopefully the car
leading us back to The Hacker.

But at 5:00 a.
m.
,
there's no one else on the platform
except the surveillance team
and the person who's picked up the money.

The surveillance team,
if they got on the train,
they most likely would have been blown.

We had to let $68,000 walk.

I had a dream ♪
Last night ♪
While I was layin' ♪
On my bed ♪
And the whole world ♪
Was standing still ♪
And the moon ♪
We had been outwitted,
and it was frustrating.

in the sky ♪
They had the guy
that they've been looking for,
maybe for years,
and you got away.

Yes.

Did that rattle you?
Did that make you question
if you were taking too many risks?
Uh, no, because I went home
and I had $63,000.

I saw fire ♪
I saw fire ♪
I saw fire ♪
On my head ♪
This really was
lights and sirens for the IRS.

Now, they'd be willing to devote
a tremendous amount of resources,
time, and effort to identify The Hacker.

The capability of this technology
is far beyond what they are telling us.

This dude says,
"Screw that, I'll handle it!"
I knew they tracked the aircard
because there was no other weak link
but I didn't know how.

It's extremely secretive.

They can't let this get out.

So they covered it up.

They don't want to talk about it.

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