Three people have been charged in the $400 million FTX hack conspiracy

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Three people have been charged in an identity theft conspiracy that allegedly involved $400 million hack from FTX It was on the same day in November 2022 that the ill-fated cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy protection, court records show.

Robert Powell, the alleged leader of the SIM swap group that drained those cryptocurrencies from FTX virtual wallets, is scheduled to appear in Chicago federal court later Friday for a detention hearing.

Also charged in the case are Carter Rhone, an Indianapolis resident, and Emily Hernandez, a Colorado resident, according to the indictment handed down by a grand jury in mid-January in federal court in Washington, D.C.

The three defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft and access device fraud, in a scheme that lasted from March 2021 to last April and involved co-conspirators traveling to cell phone retail stores in more than 15 states.

The trio shared the personally identifiable information of more than 50 victims, created false identity documents in the victims’ names, impersonated them, and then accessed their victims’ online, financial, and social media accounts for the purpose of stealing money and funds, the indictment says. Data.”

The scheme relied on tricking telephone companies into swapping cell phone subscribers’ subscriber identity module for a cell phone controlled by members of the conspiracy, the indictment said. This, in turn, allowed the conspirators to defeat multi-factor authentication protections on the victims’ accounts, giving them access to the funds in those accounts.

Powell’s attorney, Gal Pysetsky, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, which is investigating the case, declined to comment.

The indictment does not identify FTX by name as the primary victim of the conspiracy, but the details of the hack described in that indictment are consistent with publicly known details about the theft from FTX, which was falling apart at the time of the attack.

One day after the FTX hack, conspirators stole approximately $590,000 in cryptocurrencies from an individual’s virtual wallet.

This is a developing story. . Please check back for updates

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