US claims seller of encrypted phones violated racketeering and drug laws

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A US grand jury has indicted the CEO of a Canadian company that sells encrypted phones, alleging that he and an associate violated racketeering and drug laws. On Friday, the federal grand jury “returned an indictment against the Chief Executive Officer and an associate of the Canada-based firm Sky Global on charges that they knowingly and intentionally participated in a criminal enterprise that facilitated the transnational importation and distribution of narcotics through the sale and service of encrypted communications devices,” the Department of Justice said in a press release.

Sky Global CEO Jean-Francois Eap and Thomas Herdman, a former distributor of Sky Global devices, were charged with a conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law designed to punish organized crime. They were also charged with a conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs and aiding and abetting. The racketeering and drug counts each carry maximum penalties of life in prison, the DOJ said. The US is seeking criminal convictions and forfeiture of “at least $100,000,000” worth of assets.

The indictment is available in this Motherboard article.

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