Adam Jones, 31, did not apply for bail when his matter was briefly mentioned in Newtown Local Court yesterday after being arrested 24 hours earlier following a cross-border cybercrime investigation.
NSW Police said the man stole the personal information of more than 80 people and used it to modify payroll data, superannuation details and credit card records.
Jones has been charged with 24 offences including dealing with identity information to commit an indictable offence and using false documents to obtain financial advantage.
Detectives seized computers, phones, liquid steroids and cryptocurrency during searches of his home in Erskineville and his former house in Newtown, in Sydney’s inner west, on Wednesday.
His personal mobile phone and laptop will be forensically examined by NSW Police as part of the investigation.
Court documents revealed that when he was arrested, Jones was allegedly in possession of a stockpile of stolen personal information including driver’s licences, passports and tax file numbers.
Police will allege the ring used the stolen information to withdraw money from superannuation funds and open bank, email and phone accounts before moving the money around using cryptocurrency.
Jones was arrested at Green Square Library in inner Sydney after the NSW Police cybercrime squad and SA Police set up Strikeforce Cedrilla to investigate his allegedly fraudulent activities.
SA authorities began investigating Jones in late 2018 before NSW Police took over in 2019, when he moved to Sydney.
SA police also raided two Adelaide homes on Wednesday and arrested two of Jones’ friends, a 32-year-old man and 28-year-old woman, who have been charged with money laundering and deception offences.
NSW Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft said the stolen money was splashed on cars, living expenses and overseas travel.
“The fact that superannuation was targeted in this way is extremely distressing and disgraceful,” he said.
“It’s quite concerning that there is in excess of 100 people that we’ve identified as somehow having their credentials compromised.”
Police had identified victims in NSW, SA, Victoria and Tasmania and there was a possibility some victims still did not know they had been the target of identity theft.
“It is quite feasible that they might not be aware their identities are being used by a criminal syndicate,” Det Supt Craft said.
Jones was an unpaid intern at the NSW Institute of Sport.
“The NSW Institute of Sport has co-operated with the NSW Police in relation to an investigation,” the NSWIS said in a statement.
“The investigation does not relate to any NSWIS staff, athletes or operations.”