September 26, 2022

Young Californian to pay $61,000 fine for SIM crypto fraud

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Young Californian to pay $61,000 fine for SIM crypto fraud

The US Department of Justice, investigating the fact of fraud with cryptocurrencies, sentenced a Californian student from San Diego to payment of compensation and probation.

Eastern District Attorney's Officeof Louisiana reported that 21-year-old Richard Yuan Li received three years probation and a $61,000 fine for SIM card crypto fraud worth more than $57,000.

Prosecutors charged Li with conspiracyin order to implement a fraudulent scheme that resulted in 19 victims. A New Orleans investor was robbed of digital assets on Binance, Bittrex, Coinbase, Gemini, and Poloniex, and one of Lee's accomplices extorted 100 BTC from the victim.

In their fraudulent scheme, Lee and his accomplicesfirst tricked an Apple representative into sending them an iPhone 8, then "arranged for the victim's phone number to be transferred" to that phone and bypassed security measures to gain access to the files.

In this way, Lee and his accomplices obtained the personal financial information of their potential victims, including bank and cryptocurrency accounts, and other accounts with two-factor authentication.

According to the Department of Justice, Li participated asat least 28 SIM frauds between October and December 2018. The Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana said Lee's actions constituted federal crimes because the SIM card swaps transmit signals across state lines and are subject to the U.S. Constitution's provisions on interstate commerce.

At worst, Lee could get five yearsprison, a $250,000 fine, and 100 hours of community service, so you could say he's lucky the authorities don't seem to have stepped up the penalties for such crimes.

Recall that in 2019, a cryptocurrency investorMichael Terpin wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demanding strong action against mobile phone number fraud.