An Ohio hacker charged with stealing $500,000 from the comfort of his mother’s home amid a 10-day hacking spree copped to just two felony charges in a plea deal Monday.
Dawson Bakies, 21, managed to avoid the other 50 counts of identity theft and scheme to defraud he was facing — but he’ll have to fork over most of his electronics, according to the deal cut in Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday.
Bakies faces up to 6 years in prison when he’s sentenced — in part because he couldn’t repay the roughly half-a-million dollars he stole from his victims using a sophisticated “SIM-swapping” technique to gain access to people’s phones and make off with their money.
In 2018, Bakies, who lived with his mother in Columbus at the time, called cellphone companies and fooled their customer service reps into porting the victims’ phone numbers to devices he controlled, authorities said.
The fresh-faced hacker then used the phone numbers to access bank accounts and virtual cryptocurrency wallets. He stole $10,000 from three Manhattan victims and even tried to demand a Bitcoin ransom for the return of one victim’s Gmail account, court papers say.
As part of his plea agreement, Bakies forfeited multiple phones and his primary laptop, leaving him only with one iPhone 4 and a Gateway laptop until his sentencing on Jan. 27.
The crypto crook was arrested on Jan. 31 after New York and Ohio-based investigators searched his devices and discovered a document titled “Hacker S—!” with a list of “finished targets” including his three Manhattan victims, authorities said.