Two men from Massachusetts, USA, were sentenced last week for what’s been described as “an extensive scheme” to steal some $330,000 in cryptocurrency using SIM swapping and computer hacking methods.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that 24-year-old Eric Meiggs was sentenced to two years and one day in prison, while 22-year-old Declan Harrington was sentenced to two years and seven days for the crime.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Boston Field Office, with assistance from IRS Criminal Investigations.
The two men specifically targeted executives of crypto companies, but also other people “who likely had significant amounts of cryptocurrency.”
Further targets included those who had high-value or “OG” social media account names.
No specific cryptocurrencies have been named in the announcement.
According to the DoJ,
“Meiggs and Harrington conspired to hack into and take control over these victims’ online accounts so they could obtain things of value, such as cryptocurrency. They used an illegal practice known as “SIM-swapping” and other techniques to access, take control of, and in some cases steal cryptocurrency from, the accounts.”
There are at least 10 identified victims around the country, which were targeted by the duo.
“Members of the conspiracy allegedly stole approximately $330,000 in cryptocurrency from these victims. Meiggs allegedly took control of two victims’ “OG” accounts with social media companies.”
In February 2022, the FBI said that from January 2018 to December 2020, it received 320 complaints related to SIM swapping incidents with adjusted losses of approximately $12 million. However, it received 1,611 SIM swapping reports last year alone, with estimated losses of more than $68 million.