Cryptocurrency Scammer Faces 47 Years in Prison for OpenSea Lookalike Scheme

A Moroccan man called Soufiane Oulahyane is being charged $450,000 for an OpenSea Spoofing scam. He could also face up to 47 years in prison! So what has Oulhayne been accused of? Here’s everything you need to know.

TL;DR

  • Soufiane Oulahyane, a Moroccan national, is facing charges for a complex crypto scam worth $450,000. He allegedly created a fake version of OpenSea, an NFT marketplace, using a criminal technique called spoofing.
  • Oulahyane copied OpenSea and used paid adverts to appear at the top of search results. Victims unknowingly provided their login details on his fake site, which Oulahyane then received in his email account.
  • The scam led to significant losses, with the main victim passing over their seed phrase. Oulahyane used this information to transfer the victim’s wallet contents and sell stolen NFTs, including a Bored Ape, for around 49 ETH. Therefore, he now faces charges and a potential 47-year prison sentence.
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A Crypto Scammer Faces $450,000 Charge

Crypto Scammer Faces Huge Charges

A man from Morocco identified as Soufiane Oulahyane finds himself in hot water as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York charges him with orchestrating a crypto scam worth $450,000. The charges allege that Oulahyane designed a fake version of OpenSea. Moreover, he created this version of OpenSea to illicitly obtain access to users’ crypto and digital collectibles.

This scheme involved a practice called spoofing, which entails creating a mirror image of a trusted website to deceive victims. According to the indictment, Oulahyane went to great lengths to copy OpenSea, even using paid adverts to ensure his fake site ranked first in search results when users looked for the nft marketplace. What’s more, upon logging into this fake platform, users unknowingly passed over their login details. Then, the platform transmitted them to Oulahyane’s controlled email account.

How Much Did Soufiane Oluahyane Allegedly Steal?

The scam happened in September 2021, resulting in huge losses. The main victim, a person from Manhattan and an NFT owner, unintentionally divulged his seed phrase. Exploiting this information, Oulahyane allegedly transferred the victim’s wallet contents to himself, profiting from the sale of 39 stolen NFTs. Among these digital collectibles was a Bored Ape, originally purchased by the victim for approximately 49 ETH.

The indictment further outlines how Oulahyane proceeded to sell a Meebit NFT and a Bored Ape Kennel Club NFT from the victim’s wallet. The victim initially bought these NFTs for 9.88 ETH and 6 ETH. The scammer offloaded the NFTs on the legitimate OpenSea marketplace, transferring the crypto proceeds to a wallet beyond the victim’s reach. In total, the estimated value of the stolen digital collectibles amounts to a staggering $450,000.

Currently detained in Morocco, Oulahyane faces charges of wire fraud, unauthorized access device usage, and aggravated identity theft. If the court convicts him, he could face a maximum prison sentence of 47 years.

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