James Goris has pleaded guilty to one count each for obtaining property by deception, making identification information, child pornography, and using fake documents. The 46-year-old man used the dark web to make millions of dollars from Kenneth Holt, a pensioner, according to a report read at the Victoria County Court. In a statement released by Penny Thorp, the prosecutor, Goris used illegal means to take control of the pensioner’s portfolio shares. As claimed by a report, Goris created a fake document and a post office box address to obtain complete access to Holt’s portfolio shares.
James Goris, who happens to be a former police officer, has been identified as a notorious forger who operates under the username “piratedeadpool” on the dark web. He is well known for his illegal sales of Victoria Police badges, wallets and ID cards on the online black market in exchange for bitcoin. Also, he offered the sales of aviation passes and maritime security passes, according to reports. In November 2016, authorities conducted a raid of his house which led to the retrieval of documents, including a land title belonging to his victim.
At his property, authorities found details of the victim’s family members, ancestry searches, and other documents. Authorities later revealed that Goris had illegally transferred shares worth $3,355,609.35 belonging to Holt to a company he controls and operates as a director. While Goris was controlling those shares, he was also managing his dark web store and selling fake security documents. According to the report, “piratedeadpool” has a life-long history of document forgery. The prosecutor revealed that Goris issued strong advice to buyers to use their imagination and to look the part when using the fake identity cards.
At the court, Judge Frank Gucciardo said that categorizing Goris’s behavior as odd is an understatement. He noted that Goris did not fancy the use of the fake documents – he did it for the money involved.
The police went undercover to purchase counterfeit documents from the former officer on multiple occasions. In most cases, he ripped off the undercover agents in the sales. “Piratedeadpool” has a long history of manufacturing fake ID cards and selling them over the darknet. He was earlier charged for selling security passes and both federal and Victoria Police badges following his arrest.
The court said that undercover agents met him on the Alphabay marketplace shortly before the market was taken down, and they exchanged some messages. However, since the site was encrypted, they could not be read, even if intercepted. Goris was popular in selling police identification from the United Kingdom and Australia. On one occasion, the undercover agents made a purchase of items worth $5000, according to the Detective Senior Constable Cameron Pye from the E-crime squad and Crime Command. Goris then sent the items through the Australia Post express parcels. According to them, sometimes the packages included police wallets and lanyard and security cards for maritime docks and airport access.
In one of his sales, the undercover agents recorded him bragging about how he has been able to use the cards. He said in the recording that with those cards, he could go to any police station and have access to drugs and guns. Because of this, authorities intensified their search in his house with the aim of finding drugs and guns. However, none were discovered. It was then said by Constable Pye that Goris was bragging to boost his sales on the dark web. Only police badges, blank identification cards, police issued uniforms, individual card printers, and other documents were found in his possession.
Goris was refused bail due to his expert skills of forging documents, according to the court. They took a proactive measure to prevent him from falsifying more documents which could help him travel out of the country. At the law court, the police revealed that had these documents and cards fallen into the wrong hands, things could have been disastrous.
The report stated that the prosecutor sought to employ a custodial sentence. The defense did not attempt to object the decision, so Goris has been remanded and will appear before the court on the 6th of March 2019, for his sentence.
The recent engagement of former police in dark web related activities is on the rise as an ex-cop was also arrested last year for buying guns on the dark web.
By Sam Jona