Esteban Cabrera Da Corte, a Miami gang leader, has been handed a 63-month prison sentence by a federal court in New York for orchestrating a cryptocurrency scam that defrauded US banks and a prominent exchange of over $4 million.
The scheme involved fraudulent refunds, where financial institutions were tricked into reimbursing criminals who had utilized stolen personal data to impersonate others.
US Banks And Crypto Exchange Fooled
According to the investigation conducted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Esteban Cabrera Da Corte, also known as “Esteban Cabrera” and “Steban,” led a scheme that spanned at least 2020 through March 2020.
Together with his co-conspirators, they defrauded US banks and a prominent cryptocurrency exchange platform, the identity of which was not disclosed by the DOJ, by purchasing more than $4 million in cryptocurrency.
Subsequently, they falsely claimed that these transactions were unauthorized, thus prompting the banks and the exchange to reverse the transactions and deposit the funds into accounts controlled by the defendants. The defendants then withdrew the money from these accounts while retaining the digital assets for themselves.
To carry out the fraudulent scheme, Cabrera Da Corte and his co-conspirators created accounts with the cryptocurrency exchange, using counterfeit US passports, forged driver’s licenses, and stolen personal information.
These accounts were linked to bank accounts under the defendants’ control. The defendants utilized money deposited into these accounts, often through cash deposits made via ATMs, to purchase cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency Scammers’ Tactics Revealed
According to the DOJ, the acquired digital assets were swiftly transferred to other wallets outside the exchange, which were controlled by the defendants and their associates.
Following these transfers, the defendants made false telephone claims to the US banks, asserting that the cryptocurrency purchases were unauthorized, leading the banks to reverse the transactions.
The criminal operation executed by the defendants resulted in fraudulent reversals exceeding $4 million processed by US banks, while the exchange suffered losses totaling over $3.5 million.
In addition to the prison sentence, Esteban Cabrera Da Corte, aged 27 and residing in Miami, Florida, has been ordered to pay restitution of $3,578,786.69 and forfeit $1,200,000.
According to CoinGecko data, the global cryptocurrency market continues to demonstrate resilience and growth, with the total market capitalization currently standing at an impressive $1.41 trillion.
This represents a 1.09% change in the last 24 hours and a remarkable 68.45% change compared to the market cap one year ago.
Bitcoin (BTC) retains its position as the market leader. With a market cap of $748 billion, Bitcoin commands a dominant share of approximately 49.64% of the total cryptocurrency market.
Featured image from Shutterstock, chart from TradingView.com
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