Inside a Violent Gang’s Ruthless Crypto-Stealing Home Invasion Spree | EUROtoday

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She refused to surrender her password, and was, in accordance with the prosecutors’ description, so demoralized by the sooner hacking theft of nearly all of her funds that she instructed the boys to easily shoot her. Instead, they stole her engagement ring, two iPhones, a laptop computer, the charger for the neurostimulator utilized by the opposite member of the family as a therapy for Parkinson’s illness, and no matter money they might discover, then left.

For their subsequent sufferer, the prosecutors describe how the group focused a person who Seemungal knew to be a fellow SIM swapping hacker and who he believed had in reality robbed him of a major sum of cryptocurrency in 2021. To put together for that theft in September of 2022, they started repeatedly sending their goal pizza deliveries within the hope of conditioning him to return to his door with out suspicion. When the second of their deliberate theft got here, nevertheless, their goal wasn’t house, so that they as an alternative lay in wait, then drew weapons on their goal when he arrived on the home.

Over the subsequent hour, the group sure their sufferer’s arms behind his again with bootlaces and demanded he hand over entry to his crypto accounts. When the account he gave them entry to had solely a small sum of crypto, they put him within the backseat of their rented Cadillac, struck his face with their weapons, drove away, and started extorting his mates and father for crypto funds. Eventually, about 120 miles from their sufferer’s house, the boys took their sufferer out of the automotive and instructed him to kneel. He as an alternative escaped, as one of many males fired a gun from the shifting automotive, although it isn’t clear if the shot was supposed to hit the sufferer or merely scare him. One of the group—who has not but been charged—would later say that St. Felix had urged they kill their captive.

Just a few months later, prosecutors write, the group carried out their subsequent assault towards one other sufferer they believed to be a rich crypto-focused hacker, this time in Texas. On a highway journey from Florida to begin surveilling their goal, St. Felix had fled from legislation enforcement in Louisiana, flipped his automotive at greater than 90 miles per hour, and damaged his leg. The different members of the Florida crew had been arrested after that crash. So the break-in was carried out by a newly recruited staff primarily based within the Houston space.

Just a couple of days earlier than Christmas of 2022, the Texas group broke into their goal’s house, sure his members of the family’ arms with zip ties, and repeatedly hit him within the face demanding he give them entry to his cryptocurrency. Prosecutors say they shoved knives and forks beneath his mom’s fingernails and struck her within the face with a gun. They burned their goal’s arm with a scorching iron to coerce him at hand over his crypto account particulars, and at one level tried to punch him within the genitals.

The sufferer ultimately instructed his torturers that he had buried a tool storing his cryptocurrency within the yard. (In truth, that {hardware} pockets, holding $1.4 million in crypto, was in a shifting field within the house that the thieves by no means discovered.) When the thieves introduced their sufferer to the yard to find the system, he climbed a fence and escaped. The burglars stole $150,000 in money in addition to some jewellery, then left.

One Final Job

In early 2023, after these comparatively unsuccessful makes an attempt at extortion, an affiliate of Seemungal’s allegedly started feeding the group suggestions, hacking into potential targets’ e mail to see the dimensions of their crypto holdings, and sending these results in the house invasion crew. One Telegram chat obtained by prosecutors reveals a dialogue of potential targets, together with somebody with $1.2 million in Texas and one other individual with $600,000 in Tennessee.

Screenshot of a text communication between hackers

A display seize of the group’s Telegram chat as they mentioned potential targets. A “lick” right here is slang for a theft goal.

Courtesy of Dept. of Justice