An Irish man could go to jail for as much as 100 years after he was accused of stealing millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrencies. According to a May 14 report published on The Independent IE, Conor Freeman, a 20-year-old from Glenageary Court in south Dublin, has been alleged to be a part of a group known as “The Community.” He and his group members are facing a crypto SIM swapping accusation, and if found guilty, he personally risks being extradited to the United States and facing over a century in prison.
“The Community” was reported to comprise of six people, with Freeman being the only Irish member (others were said to be from Florida, Iowa, New York, Missouri, and Connecticut). Documents filed from a court in the Eastern District of Michigan last week accuse all members of the group of the same crime.
The documents claimed that the group committed seven separate SIM swapping attacks, stealing $2,416,352 in digital assets. However, the exact cryptocurrencies taken were not disclosed. Freeman was arrested by members of the garda extradition unit of the drugs and Organized crime Bureau (DoCB) on May 9 at his home in Dun Laoghaire.
Speaking on his arrest, Det. Sgt. Jim Kirwan, a member of the extraction unit, claimed that items retrieved included small quantities of drugs, designer watches, two computers €3,800 (about $4,200) in cash, and records related to passwords for cryptocurrency wallets (presumed to belong to his victims)
He and his cohorts have all been charged with 15 counts of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. A single wire fraud count carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence; the same as a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
All things considered, all members of “The Community” are facing a collective 200 plus-year prison term. He was remanded in custody by Judge Donald Binchy of the Irish High Court, and he’s set to appear before the court again on May 22, with a bail application expected to be made. The documents also listed three other individuals- Jarrat White, Fendley Joseph, and Robert Jack- who were accused of assisting “The Community” with the SIM swapping operations. All three are employees of an unnamed mobile service provider, and according to the court documents, they received bribes in exchange for their assistance.
Last week, a U.S. based crypto investor Michael Terpin won a civil case against a sim swapper Nicholas Truglia, and was awarded $75.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages by the court. Terpin had filed a suit against Truglia and AT&T, accusing the telecom operator of negligence by allowing hackers to take control of his phone number. The suspects had stolen almost $24 million worth of cryptocurrency, at the time.