Joseph James O’Connor was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit computer hacking in New York earlier this week, per Reuters.
The charges came as a result of a scheme resulting in the theft of $784,000 worth of cryptocurrencies including , , and .
The scheme ran from March to May 2019. O’Connor—known by the internet alias PlugwalkJoe—used SIM swap attacks against senior executives of a cryptocurrency company in Manhattan, as well as two other clients. O’Connor and his accomplices then laundered the stolen funds.
This, however, was not the first time O’Connor ran afoul of the law.
A star-studded Twitter hack
In July, O’Connor was arrested over his connection to the infamous July 2020 Twitter hack that compromised the accounts of some of the biggest names in politics and popular culture.
The wide-ranging Twitter hack centered around a fake Bitcoin giveaway, and compromised accounts ranging from former US President Barack Obama, President Joe Biden, Apple, Uber, Kanye West, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates.
The scam directed users to send a small amount of Bitcoin to a specific address—promising larger amounts of Bitcoin in return.
It wasn’t just famous political figures or celebrities that were targeted, either. Binance, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao, and Tron’s Justin Sun were also hit with the scam.
When all was said and done, the scam allegedly brought in more than $118,000 worth of Bitcoin.