A Dublin resident involved in the theft of over $2 million in crypto via SIM-swap attacks has been sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison.
Conor Freeman, 21, was handed a 2-year and 11-month sentence in the Dublin Circuit Crimincal Court on Tuesday. He had pleaded guilty to multiple charges involving “guile and deception,”, as per Judge Martin Nolan.
As reported by the The Irish Times, the man was found guilty of engaging in the possession of proceeds of theft, dishonesty and crime operating a computer. He had 142.7 bitcoin in his possession when arrested, an amount worth $2,502,790 at the time of writing.
Freeman had not worked alone in his criminal activity; despite being characterized by his lawyer as “very much a lawyer” in his younger years. He was previously part of a group of 6 men who hacked crypto accounts over a 3-day period in May, 2018.
The group identified 3 potential victims on social media where they obtained phone numbers and email addresses. Contacts within mobile operators would then transfer every victim’s phone number onto a SIM card bought by the group.
In turn, the gang used techniques for recovering passwords on various platforms and then sent to the victim’s phone number which they now had.
The victims, Darran Marble, Michael Templeman, and Seth Sharpiro, respectively lost $100,000, over $167,000 respectively and more than $1.9 million in crypto.
Freeman was tasked for going through victims’ emails to identify crypto accounts.
The earnings from the hacks were split among the members. By the time Freeman was eventually caught by Irish authorities, he had already squandered €130,000 (US$153,996) of the monies.
After his arrest, Freeman gave the police an electronic wallet containing the remaining crypto he had acquired from victims, together with the access keys – remarkable assistance that was noted in court.
The fates of the 5 U.S-based co-accused are yet to communicated to the public. Freeman had been identified by the U.S Department of Homeland Security for his involvement in the crimes using different online names.