UK Citizen Receives 5-Year Prison Sentence in US for Cybercrimes, Including $794K Crypto Theft from Manhattan-based Crypto Firm
In recent news, a UK citizen, Joseph James O’Connor, widely known as “PlugwalkJoe,” has been handed a substantial prison term of five years by US authorities. This ruling comes as a result of O’Connor’s involvement in a series of cybercrimes, which notably include the theft of approximately $794,000 worth of digital assets from a prominent crypto company based in Manhattan.
O’Connor, who was extradited from Spain in late April, entered a guilty plea in May in response to a range of charges pressed against him. In addition to the prison sentence, a federal judge has mandated a three-year period of supervised release for O’Connor and ordered him to forfeit the exact sum of $794,012.
The cybercriminal and his associates orchestrated a SIM swap attack, specifically targeting the executives of the unnamed crypto firm located in Manhattan. Following the successful theft, the proceeds were subsequently laundered, with a portion being deposited into a crypto exchange account controlled by O’Connor himself.
Moreover, O’Connor’s involvement in the infamous Twitter hack cannot be overlooked. This highly publicized incident involved taking control of the accounts of prominent figures such as Joe Biden and Elon Musk, among others, in order to promote a Bitcoin giveaway scam. As a result of this scheme, the perpetrators managed to profit from approximately 11.3 BTC, equivalent to around $344,152 at present.
Furthermore, O’Connor has also been implicated in a distressing incident involving the stalking and intimidation of an underage victim. Reports from the U.S. Attorney’s Office reveal that O’Connor carried out a “swatting attack,” a deplorable act that involved falsely alerting local law enforcement to threats made by the victim, including providing what he believed to be their residential address. Additionally, O’Connor made threatening phone calls to multiple members of the victim’s family, exacerbating the distress caused by his actions.
In summary, this recent sentencing serves as a significant development in the pursuit of justice for cybercrimes committed by O’Connor, highlighting the severity of his offenses. The collaboration between international law enforcement agencies and the resulting legal repercussions send a strong message about the consequences individuals face when engaging in illicit activities within the realm of cybersecurity and cryptocurrency.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency investments are subject to market risks, and individuals should seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.