California sentences 21 yr old to 10 years prison for multi million dollar SIM swap hack

posted 6 months ago
A 21-year-old student from the US who stole over $7.5 million in cryptocurrency via SIM-swapping hacks has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. The thief, Joel Ortiz, was a “prolific” SIM swapper, the state attorney’s office said, in one crime in May 2018, he stole more than $5.2 million “in minutes” from a cryptocurrency entrepreneur in Cupertino, California.

He “lavishly” spent the stolen funds, including $10,000 at Los Angeles clubs and hired a helicopter to go to a music festival. Ortiz was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport last year and pleaded no contest (accepting the charges but not pleading guilty) to 10 felony theft charges. The case was investigated by the REACT (Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team) Task Force, which seized $400,000 from Ortiz after his arrest. The rest of the funds have either been spent or concealed. SIM-swap hacks – in which attackers manage to clone victims’ SIM cards in order to access online accounts – are an increasingly popular means of crypto theft.
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