Two Maryland Residents Found Guilty of Multimillion Dollar Scheme to Defraud Apple Inc. out of 5,000 iPhones
WASHINGTON — A North Carolina man was arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing sensitive data from his prior employer, a D.C.-based company, and threatening to publish this data unless the company paid him $2.5 million. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the Washington Field Office Criminal and Cyber Division.
Cameron Curry, 25, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is charged in a criminal complaint filed in the District of Columbia with felony extortion for making an interstate threat to injure the property or reputation of another in order to extort money. Curry was arrested yesterday by the FBI in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. He made his initial appearance in the Western District of North Carolina earlier today.
According to court documents, Curry had been working as a contract employee with the victim company but was told on December 5, 2023, that his last day of employment would be December 15, 2023. On December 11, 2023, posing under the pseudonym of “Loot,” Curry allegedly began sending a series of emails to the victim company and its employees threatening to publish certain sensitive financial records and personally identifiable information of the victim company’s employees. In one email, Curry allegedly wrote, “If you wish to reclaim your data, we recommend doing so promptly at 2.5 million USD in order to save your company and stocks, as each subsequent month will incur a $100,000 USD increase.” Between December 11 and January 23, Curry allegedly sent over 60 similarly threatening emails to the company.
As alleged in the complaint, law enforcement identified Curry as the individual posing as “Loot” by metadata in the communications he sent to the company, user information for the email address he used to send these communications, and account details for the cryptocurrency wallet to which he directed the victim to send him the ransom he demanded, among other evidence.
On January 24, 2024, when the FBI sought to execute a search warrant at Curry’s residence, Curry allegedly refused to leave the residence and then sent a series of messages to the victim company threatening to publish its data if he were to be arrested.
In court earlier today in the Western District of North Carolina, Curry made his initial appearance on the charges against him and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The Honorable David C. Keesler scheduled a detention hearing for next Monday, January 29, on the government’s request to detain Curry. Curry remains in custody pending that hearing.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI’s Field Office in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.