In the latest crypto investigation by US authorities, a Los Angeles man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to his victims for orchestrating a series of scams in which he posed as an Apple support representative and stole non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency.
Amir Hossein Golshan, age 25, was sentenced by United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who also ordered him to pay $1,218,526 in restitution.
Unmasking The Scam
According to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) press release, Golshan’s crimes, which involved subscriber identity module (SIM) swapping and social media account takeovers, targeted hundreds of victims over several years and caused approximately $740,000 in losses.
By fraudulently inducing victims to disclose personal information, including their SIM card details and two-factor authentication codes, Golshan gained unauthorized access to their digital accounts.
The investigation further alleges that Golshan then stole valuable digital assets, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. As a result, Golshan caused significant “financial harm” to his victims.
The Department of Justice highlighted the severity of Golshan’s actions, stating that his crimes went beyond mere monetary theft. Prosecutors argued that Golshan’s wanton cruelty inflicted constant fear and worry upon his victims, demonstrating a “complete lack of respect” for the law and basic human dignity.
Stealing NFTs And Crypto Worth Thousands
According to the DOJ, Golshan’s fraudulent tactics included impersonating Apple support personnel, allowing him to access victims’ Apple iCloud accounts.
Golshan defrauded multiple individuals through this scheme and stole NFTs, cryptocurrency, and other valuable digital property. Golshan’s actions caused five victims to suffer losses ranging from $2,000 to $389,000 each.
One example of Golshan’s modus operandi involved calling a victim from Apple Support’s official telephone number, falsely claiming to be an Apple Support employee.
Golshan then convinced the victim to disclose a two-step authentication code, granting him unauthorized access to the victim’s iCloud account. Subsequently, Golshan changed the account’s email address and proceeded to steal the victim’s NFT worth approximately $319,000, along with roughly $70,000 worth of crypto assets.
According to the DOJ’s investigation, Golshan later sold the stolen NFT on an NFT marketplace for $130,000 in crypto.
According to CoinGecko data, the current market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency market stands at $1.47 trillion, reflecting a 0.99% change over the last 24 hours and a significant 72.08% change compared to one year ago.
Bitcoin (BTC) currently holds a market cap of $730 billion, accounting for a dominant 49.58% share of the overall cryptocurrency market while continuing to trade in its established range between $36,500 and $37,500.
In contrast, Stablecoins holds a market cap of $129 billion, representing an 8.78% share of the total crypto market capitalization.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com
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