DOCUMENT: Internet, Crime

FBI Busts 4chan Man For Extreme Couponing

Collegian facing wire fraud, counterfeiting charges

How To Make Coupons

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Illegal Couponing

MAY 11--A college student--and 4chan enthusiast--was named today in a felony complaint charging him with the illegal online distribution of counterfeit coupons that were designed to look like legitimate ones made available through a marketing firm owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Lucas Henderson, a 22-year-old Rochester Institute of Technology student, is facing a pair of federal felony charges--wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods--for allegedly posting counterfeit coupons on

Henderson, pictured at right, is also accused of directing users of that message board to 4chan, where they could download a copy of "How to Make Coupons,” a 45-page tutorial on designing coupons that would “scan at most any store in the U.S.,” thus tricking retailers.

The manual opens with a page listing "The 6 Commandments of Coupon Making,” including the admonition that the tutorial not be uploaded “to any permanent hosting.” Instead, the document should be shared on “anonymous image boards” (like 4chan) where “posts expire after a period of time.” Placing the tutorial at a permanent online location “makes it much easier for companies and moral assholes to come across them and warn stores about them.”

In a phone interview, Henderson said he would “rather not say anything at this time.” Though he appeared this afternoon in federal court in Rochester, Henderson seemed shocked to learn from a reporter that details of the FBI probe were now public, and he voiced concern about his future ability to secure employment.

According to a U.S. District Court complaint sworn by FBI Agent Andre Cicero, the bureau has been probing the distribution over the Internet of counterfeit coupons designed to look like ones offered on, which is produced by News America Marketing, a subsidiary of Murdoch’s media conglomerate.

FBI agents identified Henderson by tracking an IP address captured on the servers (the address was provided to investigators by the message board’s operator). In mid-March, when an agent sought a search warrant for Henderson’s Rochester apartment, the investigator indicated that federal probers had been keeping an eye on 4chan. Agent Barry Couch referred to “FBI agents’ observation of posting activity on the 4chan Website.”

As agents raided his home, Henderson was asked about 4chan, and he “indicated that he had heard of it, had visited it, and had probably posted messages on it in the past.” In response to FBI queries about the production of coupons, the complaint notes, Henderson stated, “I did write the manual. I wrote what I could. I thought it was an interesting thing.”

According to RIT’s web site, Henderson, a Texas native, is studying for a degree in information security and forensics. He expects to graduate next year and is “looking for a job in the field of Computer Security.” (9 pages)

Comments (25)

"Working Liberal?" Now that's an oxymoron. Unless you're working on a forty of Olde English, that is! .... bed bath and beyond coupons
I know this kid! He went to SMU for a semester before he was kicked out for hacking into the schools system and taking passwords, he sat next to me in my calculus class, he was really weird.
It sounds like internet anonymity is a lot like condoms. 99% effective, but it only takes one mistake to ruin your life.
Should have made himself a get out of jail free card!
FBI want to arrest the federal Banks then cause the dollar aint worth shiat compared to the actual gold reserves. A false economy based on Your Debt
It's a damn shame that the FBI is focusing their attention on "extreme couponing" and not the "extreme CP" that's posted there. Lovely to know what the FBI finds more worthy of their time.
Anyone trying to screw over Rupert Murdoch is cool in my book.
No response teabaggers? Aren't you benefiting from his 6.1 billion dollar trickle down effect?
No. I'm still waiting for the magnificent benefits of Obama's "stimulus" to "trickle down".
You see it in your paycheck every week...
I do see it every two weeks, my paycheck is now 1/3 smaller since obama went after big pharma and ripped the guts out the industry. I'm still waiting for one of his stupid "green" jobs, when will that happen?
Oh and people who don't believe in glabal warming should not get "green" jobs. My balls, your mouth.
Rocketman, your paycheck has not shrunk. I can almost garentee it has gone up sinse Obama has taken office. Why would you say something that is so far from the truth? Are you really that upset about "obamacare"? Go to the doctor and ask that they remove your head from your arse.
"Working Liberal?" Now that's an oxymoron. Unless you're working on a forty of Olde English, that is!
God I regret this name... I see your first two sentences all the time. The last sentence is a new one and freakin awesome. It's good to know conservatives can have a good sense of humor. Have a good one brother. BTW I don't drink malt liquor (I am white).
Are you some sort of racist? Do you stereotype people of color? Are white people NOT allowed to drink malt liquor?
Yeah, "Working" ... does your boss know you're f_cking around on the Internet instead of working? My balls, your mouth. Now f_ck off.
^ asked me to manscape
I'm in the office 10-12 hours a day. Typically a good 6 more hours then my boss. My boss could care less about what I do when I'm on lunch/break. He is also a teabagger and I get along with him just fine. Thanks for your concern. Have a wonderful day!
It is really worth reading the document to see how arrogant crooks eventually get sloppy or greedy for recognition...even those getting advanced educations in IT Security. He's right about a job, too. If he had been a better crook, like able to do something besides copy and paste and use Tor with some limited success, he'd have agencies from govt and private sector both beating down his door when he's released from prison. Oops, clearance. Crap, now Walmart won't even rehire him.
Yet another angst-ridden 4chan nerd making a desperate attempt at sticking it to the man. And to be busted on such a pansy scheme just cements his future as a movie theatre usher.
lolz at the 4chan guy not realizing court cases are public record.
One side of me wants CHAOS and to screw "moral asshats," but on the otherside I want to conform and secure gainful employment. Guess which side is going to ruin his life and screw him over, maybe even in prison by a guy named wayne. Hey guess what, coupons are already free.
He should've just written up everything formally, contacted the company, and then published it as an analysis of the system. Probably would've boosted his career instead of trashing it.
College education wasted on criminal activities, only future will be working at Geek Squad replacing computer parts.