- Moroccan national, Soufiane Oulahyane, indicted for orchestrating a $450,000 crypto and NFT heist by creating a deceptive replica of the OpenSea marketplace.
- Oulahyane allegedly used a fraudulent website and paid advertisements to trick unsuspecting victims into providing their login credentials, enabling him to gain unauthorized access to their accounts.
- The stolen digital assets included a highly sought-after Bored Ape NFT and resulted in charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access device usage, and aggravated identity theft against Oulahyane, who awaits potential extradition to the United States.
Soufiane Oulahyane, a Moroccan individual, has been indicted by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York on charges related to a significant cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) heist. The indictment alleges that Oulahyane orchestrated a complex scheme by creating a deceptive replica of the renowned OpenSea digital marketplace, ultimately stealing digital assets worth approximately $450,000.
According to the indictment, Oulahyane is accused of meticulously designing a fraudulent website that closely resembles the legitimate OpenSea platform. Utilizing paid advertisements, he ensured that his counterfeit site appeared prominently in search results for the term “OpenSea.” Unsuspecting users, unaware of the deception, would enter their login credentials on the fake platform, unknowingly transmitting their sensitive information to Oulahyane’s controlled email account.
The indictment alleges that Oulahyane executed this scheme in September 2021, resulting in substantial theft. Specifically, the primary victim, an NFT owner based in Manhattan, unknowingly disclosed their seed phrase to the fraudulent website. The seed phrase is a crucial sequence of words that provides access to a cryptocurrency wallet. Exploiting this sensitive information, Oulahyane reportedly transferred the victim’s wallet contents, which included 39 NFTs. Among the stolen assets was a highly sought-after Bored Ape NFT, previously purchased by the victim for an estimated value of 49 ETH.
Stolen assets and criminal charges
After gaining control of the victim’s wallet, the indictment alleges that Oulahyane proceeded to sell two NFTs: a Meebit and a Bored Ape Kennel Club NFT. The victim had initially acquired these digital assets for approximately 9.88 ETH and 6 ETH, respectively. Oulahyane purportedly offloaded the stolen NFTs on the legitimate OpenSea marketplace, transferring the fraudulent proceeds to a wallet beyond the victim’s reach. In total, the stolen digital collectibles amounted to approximately $450,000 in value.
As a consequence of his alleged actions, Oulahyane now faces charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access device usage, and aggravated identity theft. These serious charges could result in a lengthy prison sentence if he is found guilty. It is worth noting that Oulahyane is currently in custody in Morocco, awaiting potential extradition to the United States to face trial.
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