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Palm Coast Man Faces Federal Charges in $800,000 Cryptocurrency Theft Scheme

Jacksonville, FL – A 19-year-old Palm Coast resident, Noah Michael Urban, has been charged in federal court with the theft of at least $800,000 in cryptocurrency. Urban, who was arrested on January 10, will remain in custody following a decision by Magistrate Judge Joel B. Toomey in a hearing on Friday.

Urban faces a serious set of charges, including eight counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and five counts of aggravated identity theft, as detailed in a January 11 announcement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. Each wire fraud charge carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison, while the aggravated identity theft charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of two years.

During Friday’s hearing, Urban, also known by aliases such as “Sosa,” “Elijah,” “King Bob,” and “Anthony Ramirez,” entered a plea of not guilty.

The indictment alleges that between August 2022 and March 2023, Urban, along with other conspirators, engaged in a scheme to commit wire fraud and identity theft. They reportedly obtained the personal identifying information of at least five victims, which they then used to gain unauthorized access to the victims’ virtual currency accounts.

A key method used in the fraud was a technique known as a SIM swap. This involves taking control of a victim’s cellphone account, redirecting incoming messages and texts to a phone controlled by the conspirators. By doing so, the conspirators could bypass security measures such as two-factor authentication.

Once they had control of the victims’ phones, Urban and his accomplices allegedly reset the victims’ account passwords and verified the ownership of the phone numbers through one-time passwords. This enabled them to access the victims’ cryptocurrency accounts and transfer the funds to wallets under the conspirators’ control.

The case highlights the growing issue of cryptocurrency-related fraud and the sophisticated methods criminals use to bypass security measures. SIM swapping, in particular, has become a prevalent tactic due to its effectiveness in overcoming two-factor authentication, which is widely used to protect sensitive accounts.

Urban’s arrest and subsequent detention underscore the seriousness with which federal authorities are approaching these crimes. The collaboration between multiple law enforcement agencies and the swift legal action taken reflect a commitment to addressing and mitigating the risks posed by cybercrime.

As the case progresses, it will likely serve as a crucial example of the importance of securing personal information and the ongoing need for robust cybersecurity measures. For those involved in the world of cryptocurrency, this case serves as a stark reminder of the potential vulnerabilities and the importance of vigilance in protecting digital assets.

Urban’s next court appearance is awaited with interest as the legal proceedings unfold, shedding more light on the specifics of the case and the extent of the alleged criminal activities.

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Patrick Zarrelli

Tech CEO, Aggressive Progressive, and Unrelenting Realist. @PJZNY Across the Web!!!

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