19- year-old Yousef Selassie used a sophisticated SIM-swapping scheme to take over the phones of people in 20 different states between Jan. 20 and May 19, 2019, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
He allegedly transferred his victims’ phone numbers to his own iPhones, enabling him to reset their passwords and gain access to their Gmail, cryptocurrency and other accounts.
The stolen $1 million came from just two victims, authorities said. Selassie was arrested in Corona, California, and extradited to New York.
He was arraigned this week in Manhattan Supreme Court, where he pleaded not guilty to 87 counts of grand larceny, identity theft, and other charges.
Justice Mark Dwyer ordered him to surrender his passport and check in weekly with a supervised release program. But the judge did not set bail.
Authorities executed search warrants on Selassie’s Brooklyn and California residences, where they seized half a dozen iPhones, two Rolex watches, a monogrammed Gucci wallet and numerous pieces of high-end jewelry, according to court papers.