The USA Charges a Moroccan Who Stole 448,000 Dollars
The United States is charging a Moroccan with stealing an NFT worth $448,000 on OpenSea. The culprit used sophisticated schemes to steal users’ seed phrases. The accused may be sentenced up to a maximum of 20 years behind bars.
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The U.S. Attorney’s office has charged a Moroccan named Soufiane Oulahyane in connection with his alleged involvement in a significant robbery of cryptocurrency and NFT.
Oulahyane is accused of organizing a complex scheme and stealing a staggering $448,923 worth of digital assets, including two highly sought-after Bored Apes, by creating a fake replica of the famous OpenSea digital market.
According to the Department of Justice, Oulahyane created a fraudulent website to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing their seed phrases, a sequence of random words to unlock cryptocurrency wallets, which allowed an attacker to illegally gain access to genuine OpenSea accounts.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams emphasized Oulahyane’s adaptability, noting that he effectively rethought the old technique of creating fake websites and applied it in the rapidly developing cryptocurrency space.
It is noteworthy that Oulakhyana has been charged with stealing cryptocurrency from an unidentified victim living in New York. He is accused of successfully selling 39 NFT, including an attractive cartoon monkey in a sailor hat smoking a cigar, and an image of a robotic dog.
A government investigation revealed that Oulahyane used a clever maneuver by buying sponsored links on an undisclosed search engine. Potential users who clicked on these links were unwittingly redirected to a fake site resembling the OpenSea login page.
According to prosecutors, the victim posted 9.88 Ether, which is equivalent to about $18,700, for a monkey, and 1,789 Ether, worth $3,400, for an exciting robotic dog.
What is the court’s decision?
The indictment, published by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Soufian Oulahyane, a Moroccan citizen, operated a duplicate site of the popular NFT OpenSea trading platform to gain unauthorized access to digital assets and NFT files using a cybercrime method known as “substitution.”
Oulahyane now faces four charges, including telecommunications fraud, use of unauthorized access, criminal misappropriation of identity, and use of an access device to steal at least $1,000. If found guilty of the fraud charges, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years behind bars, according to the U.S. attorney.