A 22-year-old French man who was extradited to the United States from Morocco and charged with cyber crimes has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit cyber fraud and identity theft, officials said.
Sebastian Raul, also known as Cezio Kaizen, entered the guilty plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Washington, Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman said in a statement. A native of Epinal in eastern France, Raoul was arrested in Morocco last year and extradited to the United States in January, reports BGNES.
In June 2021, Raul and two of his accomplices, Gabriel Bildstein and Abdel-Hakim El-Ahmadi, who formed a hacking group called ShinyHunters, were indicted on nine counts by a US grand jury.
As part of the plea agreement, Raul pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The remaining charges will be dismissed at sentencing, which was scheduled for Jan. 11.
Conspiracy to commit such fraud is punishable by up to 27 years in prison, while identity theft carries a minimum sentence of two years in prison. “Raoul and his accomplices used deceptive tactics to trick people into sharing personal login information and breached the confidential data of multiple companies,” Gorman said.
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According to the plea agreement, Raul and his accomplices hacked into the computers of companies in the US and elsewhere and stole confidential information and customer records. The hacked data was then offered for sale on dark web forums including RaidForums, EmpireMarket and Exploit, or held for ransom.
According to US officials, the Shinyhunters hackers stole hundreds of millions of customer records and caused more than $6 million in losses to the affected companies.