The U.S. federal government on Wednesday charged three people with a yearslong phone hacking conspiracy that culminated in the infamous theft of $400 million from FTX as Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange was collapsing.
In an 18-page indictment filed in D.C. court, prosecutors accused Robert Powell, Carter Rohn and Emily Hernandez with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and identity theft in their operation of a SIM swapping ring that targeted fifty victims between March 2021 and April 2023.
Their most notable heist came on Nov 11, 2022, when the trio siphoned $400 million from an unidentified company. Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter, said that company was FTX.
They gained access to an employee of the crypto exchange through AT&T and transferred out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crypto.
The charges offer a solution to one of the most vexing questions left in the FTX saga: what happened to hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto that disappeared in the exchange’s darkest hour, right after it filed for bankruptcy protection.