Scammer pleads guilty to $6M hacking fraud

A UK and Nigerian dual national has pleaded guilty to playing his part in a hacking ring that robbed Americans of $6 million. Idris Dayo Mustapha was extradited to the US in August and now faces up to 20 years in jail.

Mustapha, 33, entered the guilty plea at a federal court in New York on November 28th, when he admitted to his role in a computer fraud scheme that ran between 2011 and 2018 and targeted financial institutions and their clients.

Announcing Mustapha’s plea, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said the felon and his accomplices hacked into the computer servers of US financial institutions, illegally accessing confidential user data and installing malicious files on systems.

“Using the stolen data and stolen passwords that they acquired, they executed various schemes to defraud US victims,” said the DoJ.

This included accessing victims’ email accounts to impersonate them and trigger wire transfers of their funds and securities into accounts controlled by gang members.

In a more elaborate version of the scam, Mustapha and his fellow criminals also caused brokerage accounts to execute unfavorable trades against accounts controlled by the fraudsters, “generating a profit for themselves at the victims’ expense.”

All told, victims lost more than $6 million to the scam.

Mustapha was arrested in the UK in 2021 and held for two years prior to being extradited. The DoJ did not specify when he will be sentenced or what has happened to the other gang members.