Three Individuals Charged in $400 Million FTX Hack Conspiracy
Robert Powell, Carter Rohn, and Emily Hernandez have been accused in a SIM swapping network that targeted fifty victims between March 2021 and April 2023. The trio allegedly gained access to a crypto exchange employee through AT&T and transferred hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies.
Demystifying the FTX Hack
In a federal indictment made public this week, US prosecutors charged three individuals in a telephone hacking conspiracy that resulted in the infamous $400 million FTX hack. Robert Powell, Carter Rohn, Emily Hernandez, and Carter Rohn are accused of conspiracy to commit fraud and identity theft through their SIM swapping operation.
The FTX Hack of November 2022
Their most notable heist occurred on November 11, 2022, when they siphoned $400 million from an unidentified company, confirmed by Bloomberg to be FTX. They gained access to a cryptocurrency exchange employee’s information through a basic sim-swap attack.
Hernandez used a fake ID with the details of an FTX employee to convince AT&T to transfer the cellphone account to another SIM card. The alleged ringleader, Powell – known online as ‘R$’ and ‘ElSwapo1’ – then received the 2FA identification codes to access FTX’s cryptocurrency wallets.
These charges provide an answer to one of the most pressing questions surrounding the FTX case: what happened to the hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies that vanished during the exchange’s darkest hour, just after it filed for bankruptcy protection? FTX is seeking the recovery of the funds, which could benefit creditors for potential repayment.