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Baldwin Hills man gets 13 years in int'l cybercrime ring

June 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Baldwin Hills man was sentenced for his role in a large cybercrime case and overseeing a marijuana growing operation.

Kenneth Lucas II got 13 years in federal prison on Monday for growing marijuana at his house. Authorities found 100 marijuana plants in his home in October 2009. Federal prosecutors said Lucas posted videos on YouTube showing an elaborate system of fans, indoor lights and ventilation equipment.

Also, he pleaded guilty to 49 counts of bank and wire fraud. Friday, Lucas was sentenced for leading the domestic arm of an international hacking operation.

Officials said the scam consisted of sending out emails that masqueraded as legitimate requests from banks asking customers to enter personal information on bogus websites. In addition to Lucas, 100 people were charged in this "phishing" case.

Victims in California, Nevada, North Carolina, Maryland and Egypt allowed hackers to access their bank accounts and lost more than $1 million.

Hackers in Egypt worked with cohorts in the U.S. to collect bank account information, then illegally accessed those accounts and transferred money to newly created fraudulent accounts.

The U.S. attorney's office said the case, dubbed Operation "Phish Phry," is the largest cybercrime case ever.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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