“PlugWalkJoe” indicted for $784k cryptocurrency theft scheme

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Joseph O’Connor, identified in some corners of the web as PlugWalkJoe, was indicted on an array of expenses regarding a Could 2019 cryptocurrency alternate hack. Through the assault, he’s alleged to have absconded with digital belongings valued at roughly $784,000.

Within the legal scheme, authorities imagine O’Connor utilized SIM swap assaults (an artifice of fraud the place 2FA cellphone calls and textual content messages are rerouted to a tool managed by the scammer) on three separate executives at an undisclosed cryptocurrency firm to take management of their employers techniques. O’Connor could have then diverted over 7 BTC, 407 ETH, 6363 LTC and 770 BCH from wallets maintained by the company on behalf of their customers to wallets underneath his personal management. 

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The indictment was brought by the US Legal professional’s workplace within the Southern District of New York, which is well-known for its prosecution of excessive profile monetary crimes. The case is assigned to Decide Richard Berman and was investigated by the FBI. O’Connor is particularly charged with conspiracy to commit pc hacking, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit cash laundering and aggravated identification theft. The identification theft depend carries a compulsory minimal of two years in jail to be served consecutive to another sentence imposed.

O’Connor is presently combating extradition to the USA from Spain, the place he was arrested in July on expenses introduced within the Northern District of California associated to the 2020 Twitter hack during which he’s alleged to have gained management of 130 separate outstanding twitter accounts — together with these of Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Apple and Kanye West. The responsible events used these accounts to advertise a cryptocurrency rip-off earlier than making off with about $110k in ailing gotten beneficial properties.