NEW YORK (Reuters) – A British-Nigerian national has pleaded guilty in New York to involvement in a more than seven-year scheme to hack into banks’ and brokerages’ computer servers, causing more than $6 million of losses for customers.
Idris Dayo Mustapha, 33, pleaded guilty to access device fraud, conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud at a hearing before U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn.
Mustapha, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, had been arrested in the United Kingdom in August 2021, and was extradited to the United States in August.
He faces up to 20 years in prison at his scheduled April 3, 2024 sentencing but would likely receive much less time.
A lawyer for Mustapha was not immediately available for comment.
Mustapha and his accomplices allegedly used phishing and other means to obtain user names and passwords and access online accounts from January 2011 to March 2018.
Prosecutors said the conspirators transferred victims’ money and securities to their own accounts, and made unauthorized stock trades in hacked accounts while simultaneously making profitable trades in the same stocks in their own accounts.
The case is U.S. v. Mustapha, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 23-cr-00440.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)