Steven W. Chase, a 57-year-old man from Florida, was found guilty of running the infamous dark web child porn website, PlayPen.
A press release by the Department of Justice (DOJ) said the former admin was found guilty of one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, one count of advertising child pornography, three counts of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The jury also requested Chase to “forfeit all property derived from, involved in, or traceable to his criminal activities, to including his Naples residence.”
Law enforcement authorities identified Chase as a subject when an unnamed agency tipped off the FBI. At the time, PlayPen was misconfigured and exposed its real IP address to the clearnet (the normal internet). The Bureau tracked the IP address, which led to a data center in North Carolina. From there, they had an easy job since Chase made a rookie mistake: he paid for the servers with his own PayPal account.
Both partners of Chase, Michael Fluckiger, a 46-year-old man from Portland and David Lynn Browning, aged 47 from Wooton, pleaded guilty in December 2015 to engaging in a child exploitation enterprise for their roles in helping the PlayPen