Broward man pleads guilty to tax evasion after earning $1M dealing logins on dark web, prosecutors say

(Bill Hinton, Getty Images)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Broward County man earned over $1 million in cryptocurrency “through illegal dark web transactions” and he hid it to avoid paying about $239,000 in taxes, according to prosecutors.

Ethan Trainor, 33, pleaded guilty to attempted tax evasion on Tuesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida.

Trainor admitted before U.S. District Judge Rodney Smith that he used cryptocurrency to buy and sell stolen online account logins from 2014 to 2017, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors accused Ethan Thomas Trainor of failing to pay taxes on income he earned on the dark web. (DOJ)

The usernames and passwords were to paid movie and music streaming services, pornography websites, educational websites, ride-share service accounts, and other services, according to prosecutors.

To hide his earnings, investigators said Trainor used services known as “mixers” or “tumblers” that pool users’ cryptocurrency and then distribute “clean” currency to users’ virtual wallets.

Federal agents with IRS CI Miami, DEA Miami, FBI Miami, HSI Miami; and USPIS Miami were involved in the investigation. It’s unclear on the record how Trainor was caught.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned two mixers, Tornado Cash and Blender, accusing them of processing the illicit proceeds of a Korean hacking group.

Trainor’s sentencing is in December. He faces up to five years in prison.


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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.