- Faulk targeted executives of cryptocurrency-related exchanges who own and control cryptocurrencies and other money and property through the “SIM swapping” scheme.
- Faulk and his co-conspirators used a sim swapping scheme to have access to real and personal property for their benefit.
- Faulk made his initial appearance in the Western District of Pennsylvania on December 11, 2019, and released on a $250,000 bond.
Anthony Francis Faulk, 23, of Latrobe, Penn., was indicted with conspiracy to commit fraud and extortion by Federal grand jury, announced United States Attorney and Federal Bureau of investigation.
The indictment alleges that he was engaged in a scheme to obtain assets from outsiders by fraud and extortion. Faulk targeted executives of cryptocurrency-related exchanges who own and control cryptocurrencies and other money and property through “SIM swapping” scheme.
SIM-Subscriber Identity Module or Subscriber Identification Module- authenticate subscribers to their mobile phone devices. Faulk was found guilty of using fraud, deception, and social engineering techniques to port cellphone numbers from SIM cards in the devices of users to the devices of conspirators by inducing representatives of cellphone service providers.
This technique is well known as a SIM swapping. After gaining control over victim’s cellphone numbers, using additional deceptive methods, they could gain access to their email, and other stored data and eventually to their cryptocurrency accounts. He allegedly extorted victims of the sim swapping scheme.
18 U.S. Code § 1349 – Attempt and conspiracy
The accusation alleged Faulk of conspiracy to perpetrate wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, and of interstate communications with intent to extort, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 875(d).
Furthermore, Faulk and his co-conspirators used sim swapping scheme to have access to real and personal property for their benefit which includes a Ferrari and other costly cars, jewellery, a Rolex watch, and royalty rights in twenty songs. These objects are obtained illegally through sim swapping scheme subjected to criminal forfeiture.
An indictment clearly alleges that crimes have committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Therefore if Faulk is convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, he faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 long years in prison and a hefty fine of $250,000 will charged. Or if found guilty for extortion charge, Faulk faces a maximum statutory sentence of 2 years in prison, and an amount of $250,000 will cost.
The court would charge any statutory sentence following conviction after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. Therefore, the court may order supervised release, fines, restitution and forfeiture as an additional term.
Faulk made his initial appearance in the Western District of Pennsylvania on December 11, 2019, and released on a $250,000 bond.
His next appearance scheduled at 10.30 am on January 9, 2020, before U.S. Magistrate Judge, Honorable Sallie Kim.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Leach prosecutes the case with the assistance of Mimi Lam, Rebecca Shelton, and Kimberly Richardson.
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