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Indian hacker arrested in US for stealing $150k from elderly woman

24-yr-old Sukhdev Vaid pleaded guilty to wire fraud, and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine

New York, Oct 20, 2023- A 24-year-old Indian national has admitted to his role in stealing $150,000 from an elderly woman in the US state of Montana through a computer-hacking scheme.

Sukhdev Vaid pleaded guilty on Tuesday to wire fraud, and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Vaid has been detained pending further proceedings and his sentencing is set for February 14, 2024, the US Attorney’s Office in Montana said in a release.

The prosecution alleged in court documents that a large enterprise originating from India was involved in stealing money from the elderly in the US.

In February, various fraudsters stole $150,000 from a 73-year-old woman, identified as Jane Doe, in Kalispell, a city in northwest Montana.

The fraud occurred because of a pop-up notice that appeared on Jane Doe’s computer screen, which said it was ‘haked’ and asked Doe to call on a number for customer support.

Doe complied, and fraudsters directed her to remove cash from her bank accounts for safe keeping at the “Fed”.

Doe complied and gave $150,000 in cash to the fraudsters, US District Judge Donald W Molloy heard.

In March, Doe told the fraudsters she still had $50,000 in cash, which was a ruse set up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Vaid travelled to Montana, along with co-defendant Eddly Joseph, of Gainesville, Florida, to steal the money from Doe.

Law enforcement arrested the pair when they arrived to collect the money.

The investigation determined that the fraudsters remotely accessed Doe’s computer using UltraViewer, which they installed on her computer.

Joseph pleaded guilty in August to wire fraud and is pending sentencing.

The court will determine any sentence after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. (Agency)

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