Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Vincent Ramos pleads Guilty in 'Phantom Secure'

Vincent Ramos, owner of Phantom Secure, admitted that he and his associates helped distribute cocaine, heroin and meth to Canada, the U.S., Australia, Mexico, Thailand and Europe. Ramos maintained Phantom Secure servers in Panama and Hong Kong — hidden behind virtual proxy servers — and even remotely wiped devices seized by law enforcement. His customers included members of the Sinaloa cartel and Hells Angels.

Ramos sold over 20,000 of his specialized devices, as well as access to his encrypted communication network, to organized crime groups around the world.
Ramos used shell companies and crypto currencies to launder his illicit profits. The indictment alleges Phantom Secure generated $80 million in annual revenue since 2008. Phantom Secure advertised its products as impervious to decryption, wiretapping or legal third-party records requests. Phantom Secure also guaranteed the destruction of evidence contained within a device if it was compromised.

More than 250 police conducted 25 searches of houses and offices of Phantom Secure associates in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and in Australia and Canada, seizing Phantom Secure devices, assets, and evidence.
Ramos agreed to a US$80 million forfeiture judgment, as well as the forfeiture of tens of millions of dollars in identified assets, ranging from bank accounts worldwide, to houses, to a Lamborghini, to cryptocurrency accounts and gold coins. But the plea deal also said the U.S. would not seize two Lower Mainland properties, vehicles and bank accounts used by his family.