After being raided I wasn’t sure what to do, I had every form of communication seized other than my PS4. Actually, as the raid team was leaving I ignorantly asked, “You’re not going to take my PlayStation?” One of the agents, with a confused looked on his face replied, “Should we?” The answer was of course no. My life had just been rocked at 5 A.M. by a dozen SWAT members and FBI agents. I needed at least one form of communication.
Now, it wasn’t a surprise that this day had come, I knew for years it was the inevitable. However, I didn’t expect it to be this day. I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I hoped to be. I had a “go bag”, a few assets, and a couple people in place to help me, or so I thought. One thing I learned is that you can never count on anyone, except yourself.
When I was 17 years old, I found my partner/programmer/best friend in an IRC channel freely helping people with their code. I was young and hungry, but I still missed an important piece of my puzzle, a programmer. It took some convincing, but I eventually coaxed him to be my partner in crime, pun intended. He was a few years older than me, a bit wiser, and could code godlike software. I made a promise to him that I’ve kept till this day, I said, “If we ever get raided, I’ll take the fall 100%, you have kids.”
When you’re part of a criminal organization, there’s a certain level of trust and confidence you have in each other. After a couple weeks of confiding with one of my associates, I was on the phone with him when he hit me with, “My lawyer told me not to speak to you anymore.” CLICK.
Look, I get it, I’ve been burned, the FBI seized all my phones and computers, but this wasn’t just an associate. This is a person who I considered my best friend and a brother. I mean we’ve had discussions about if we were ever raided, we would be there for one another. I played a key role in his success, I single-handedly generated thousands upon thousands of sales to his products and made him God knows how many millions of dollars. We spoke every day for years, stayed at each others houses, partied all over the country, and had countless dinners together. To me, it was a betrayal that I couldn’t predict happening in a million years.
I’m not going to cry about it, everything that was happening, I definitely had coming. I’m just telling you how it was from my perspective. I think the stress of having basic living expenses of $10,000 a month with no income, in addition to almost everyone turning their back on me took a huge toll on me. The worst part was I felt that my greatest passion in life had been taken from me, hacking and spamming. It probably sounds crazy, but this was what I looked forward to every morning I woke up.