International Hacking Group Members Sentenced for SIM Hijacking Conspiracy That Resulted in the Theft of Millions in Cryptocurrency
An Ypsilanti resident was sentenced today to 87 months in prison for damaging a protected computer, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced.
Joining Schneider in the announcement was Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Receiving the sentence was Konrads Voits, age 27. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Robert H. Cleland who also ordered restitution in the amount of $238,517 to be paid to Washtenaw County and a 3-year term of supervised release. As part of the sentencing, Voits forfeited all interests he had in some bitcoins, and in various electronic devices, including a laptop, an integrated circuit component, and several cellular phones.
In 2017, federal, state, and local agencies including the FBI, the Washtenaw County Sheriff, and the Michigan State Police conducted a rigorous investigation into Voits’s unauthorized computer intrusion into the Washtenaw County government’s computer network.
According to court records, Voits engaged in a classic “phishing” scheme – where Voits used both email and phone calls to Washtenaw County employees – to gain full access to and control of a part of the Washtenaw County computer network. Upon gaining access, Voits took the names, addresses, emails, and passwords of many former and present Washtenaw County employees. In addition, Voits accessed the Washtenaw County Jail records, altering the electronic records of at least one inmate in an effort to get that inmate released early. Thanks to the quick response of the IT employees at Washtenaw County, and to the careful review of records by employees at the Washtenaw County Jail, nobody was actually released early. Washtenaw County spent thousands of dollars and numerous extra work hours responding to and investigating the breach, resulting in a loss of at least $235,488.
United States Attorney Schneider stated, “The federal law enforcement community encourages victims of cybercrimes to follow the lead of Washtenaw County and work with law enforcement to bring cybercriminals to justice. Judge Cleland’s 87-month sentence clearly sends the message that cybercrimes will not be tolerated in the Eastern District of Michigan.”
"The FBI is deeply committed to the aggressive pursuit of all cybercrime and in bringing to justice those who commit such acts", said Timothy R. Slater, Special Agent in Charge, Detroit FBI. "Today's sentencing of Mr. Voits is an example that cybercriminals should no longer expect the Internet to provide them a veil of anonymity towards carrying out their illegal activities. The FBI will continue to vigorously investigate these high-tech crimes through strong law enforcement partnerships.”
The FBI’s Cyber Task Force investigated this case in partnership with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick E. Corbett and Craig A. Weier prosecuted the case.