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Louisiana man admits to selling fake coupons on dark Web

A Louisiana resident accused of running a counterfeit coupon operation on the dark Web has pleaded guilty to the scheme.

Beau Wattigney, 30, who lives in New Orleans, was arrested for orchestrating the million-dollar fraud through the infamous Silk Road, an anonymous online network that trafficked anything from narcotics to firearms to hacking tools.

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According to the Justice Department, Wattigney has admitted to creating fake print-at-home coupons for over 50 businesses with several co-conspirators.

He gave the vouchers a sheen of authenticity by using trademarked logos of well-known coupon distributors like Hopster, Coupons.com, SmartSource and RedPlum.

The DOJ also claimed Wattigney profited off a voucher allegedly allowing people to buy $50 Visa Gift Cards for a penny each.

He is accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit trademark counterfeiting.

Federal officials have been promoting the case as part of its broader crackdown on cyber crime.

The DOJ has stepped up prosecutions of cyber crooks and cracked down on a number of underground online markets.

These dark Web markets operate over the Tor network, which sends users’ activity through a series of nodes, cloaking their identity and location. Customers also use largely untraceable digital currencies like bitcoin to make transactions.

In several high-profile busts, authorities took down two iterations of Silk Road. More recently, governments united across 20 countries to bust an elite hacking forum known as Darkode.