Pinoy Hacker charged with raiding US celebrities' accounts and targeted ex-FBI director

Criminal charges against a 35-year-old Filipino who allegedly targeted former FBI Director Robert Mueller and other high-profile victims were unsealed Friday in what federal prosecutors in New Jersey called a sophisticated identity theft scheme.

Peter Locsin of Palisay City, Philippines, was indicted on one count of bank fraud conspiracy and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in an indictment returned May 10 and unsealed with his arrest overseas.

The U.S. Attorney's office said Locsin was taken into custody on unrelated charges in the Philippines. They have yet to make a request for his extradition, a spokesman said.

Locsin, along with others who were not named, allegedly obtained personal information for a number of victims in an effort to gain access to their bank accounts and credit cards.

None of the victims were named in the indictment, but the Philippine Star quoted police there who said Mueller, the former director of the FBI, was among those targeted in the scheme.

At least two others were New Jersey residents according to the indictment, one was a CEO of a multinational corporation, and another was described as "a well-known socialite and entertainer."

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman would not confirm that Mueller was a victim, and would not identify any of the others targeted in the alleged scam.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was allegedly among a number of high-profile victims in a sophisticated identity theft scheme being operated out of the Philippines, in a case unsealed by federal prosecutors in New Jersey on Friday.

Prosecutors said Locsin and others involved in the scheme were able to obtain personal identifying information—including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, address and work history, and then accessed bank accounts of individuals online, or through telephone calls. According to the indictment, Locsin used those accounts to make wire transfers, order merchandise, order emergency replacement cards, add supplemental cardholders to accounts, or change addresses related to those accounts.

In February 2012, for example, he allegedly reset the password for one victim's online bank account and then transferred out $11,000. In the following months, authorities said he ordered a replacement credit card in the same victim's name to be sent to an address in the Philippines, and made 13 attempts to transfer additional funds out of the account.

In March of 2013, Locsin allegedly added a bank account in the name of a celebrity and tried to make payments out of it.

And in November 2013, Locsin is charged with attempting to transfer $15,000 from a bank account in the name of Mueller, identified in the indictment only as a "former high-ranking United States government official.

If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Source: Reuters, Philippine Star,

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About Jaime Lacson

A Freelance Computer Tech with knowledge about computer, router and mobile phones, especially in Upgrade and Downgrade OS, Software and Hardware troubleshooting. follow me at Google+
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