A British-Nigerian man has been charged in New York with stealing money from investors’ accounts.
Idris Dayo Mustapha hacked email servers and computers belonging to U.S. banks and brokerages, per a 10-count complaint.
32 year old Mustapha and others allegedly caused more than $5 million of losses.
Mustapha phished to obtain user names and passwords and access online bank and brokerage accounts from January 2011 to March 2018.
According to prosecutors, the Lagos, Nigeria native and his co-conspirators at first transferred victims’ money to their own accounts.
Once banks began blocking the transfers, the conspirators would make unauthorized stock trades in hacked accounts, while simultaneously making profitable trades in the same stocks in their own accounts.
According to the complaint, Mustapha teamed up with an unnamed Lithuanian in April 2016 to conduct unauthorized trades in or wire money from one brokerage’s accounts.
In a statement. U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in Brooklyn said Mustapha was “part of a nefarious group that caused millions of dollars in losses to victims by engaging in a litany of cybercrimes.”
The United States is trying to extradite Mustapha following his August 2021 arrest in Britain.
In 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission won an asset freeze against Mustapha in a Manhattan civil lawsuit also concerning his alleged hacking of brokerage accounts.
If convicted, Mustapha faces up to 20 years in prison on each of various wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering charges, plus two years for aggravated identity theft.