The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday said that an Israeli national pleaded guilty for his role as an “administrator” of a portal called DeepDotWeb (DDW), a “news” website that “served as a gateway to numerous dark web marketplaces.”
According to the unsealed court documents, Tal Prihar, 37, an Israeli citizen residing in Brazil, operated DDW alongside Michael Phan, 34, of Israel, starting October 2013, in return for which they received kickbacks from the operators of the marketplaces in the form of virtual currency amounting to 8,155 bitcoins (worth $8.4 million at the time of the transactions).
In an attempt to conceal the illicit payments, Prihar is said to have transferred the money to other bitcoin accounts and to bank accounts under his control in the name of shell companies.
“Tal Prihar served as a broker for illegal Darknet marketplaces — helping such marketplaces find customers for fentanyl, firearms, and other dangerous contraband — and profited from the illegal business that ensued,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the DoJ’s Criminal Division.
“This prosecution, seizure of the broker website, and forfeiture send a…