Sunday, June 16, 2024

After $9 million scam, alleged hacker searched ‘can I cross border with crypto’ and ‘buying citizenship’

A 34-year-old who is accused of stealing millions of dollars from a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange last year sought assistance online as he debated whether to obtain a different citizenship and leave the country with his stolen assets.

Shakeeb Ahmed allegedly used his advanced technological skills to defraud millions of dollars while employed as a senior security engineer at a computer company at the time of the theft.

Ahmed used computer code to deceive the protocol into paying him $9 million for cryptocurrency that he did not deposit by manipulating the liquidity pools of the exchange.

After discovering the exploit, the hacker communicated with the exchange many times before deciding to return all but $1.5 million of the stolen money. On the condition that the exchange not report the hack to law enforcement, he also supplied the exchange with information about the code’s flaws so it could guard against future attacks. According to cryptocurrency journalist Molly White, the exchange was Crema Finance, which experienced a hack in July 2022.

A month after returning the majority of the cryptocurrency, in August, Ahmed looked up “wire fraud” and “how to prove malicious intent.” Days later, he looked up “evidence laundering,” according to the indictment.

According to the DOJ, Ahmed looked for information on the legality of crossing the border with cryptocurrency and avoiding the federal government taking assets from August until the end of last year. He began planning his escape from the United States in October. While researching “buying citizenship,” he came across an article titled “16 Countries Where Your Investments Can Buy Citizenship.”

Ahmed was taken into custody on Tuesday in New York City and charged with money laundering and wire fraud, both of which carry a maximum 20-year jail sentence.

Cryptured Team
Cryptured Team
The writers team at Cryptured.com is composed of passionate and experienced journalists who cover the latest developments in the crypto and blockchain space. They aim to provide accurate, unbiased and easy-to-understand news and information for their readers, as well as insights and analysis from industry experts. The writers team is always on the lookout for new and exciting stories that can help the general public learn more about the potential and challenges of these technologies.
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