ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) – A federal court convicted Friday a Round Rock man of wire fraud, sentencing him to two years in prison.
Daniel Akira Mills, 22, participated in a wire fraud conspiracy that involved “SIM card swaps” and defrauding people of hundreds of thousands of dollars. A SIM card swap attack involves a perpetrator gaining control of a victim’s mobile phone, which allows the actor to access accounts linked to their phone number, according to the United States Department of Justice.
The actors in this case were accused of posting messages to victims’ social media accounts, disseminating private photographs taken from celebrities’ accounts, and stealing over $600,00 in cryptocurrency from dozens around the country, according to the DOJ.
“We now run much of our lives through smartphones. From social media to managing our finances, they have become essential tools. This can be very helpful, but also comes with many risks,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas in a press release.
“By ‘SIM swapping,’ or stealing the phone numbers of victims to assume their identities, Mills and his cohorts defrauded innocent members of society and caused great harm. My office will not hesitate to hold fraudsters like Mills accountable for their irresponsible destructive actions,” he continued.
The federal court that sentenced Mills to 2 years in prison also ordered him to pay more than $530,000 in restitution to the victims.