Conspirator Who Hacked Mortgage Brokers Sentenced in Computer Hacking and Wire Fraud Scheme
From a January 19 press release from DOJ:
Victor Alejandro Fernandez was sentenced in federal court today to 129 months in custody for his involvement in a conspiracy to steal and misuse mortgage customers’ sensitive personal information.
Fernandez was charged along with Jason Ray Bailey, John Gordon Baden and Joel Nava with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and computer hacking. Fernandez was also charged with aggravated identity theft. All four defendants have pleaded guilty.
According to charging and sentencing documents, between 2011 and 2014, Fernandez and his coconspirators were part of a Tijuana-based conspiracy that hacked the computer servers of major U.S. mortgage brokers, stole over 4,200 customers’ mortgage applications, and then used the victims’ social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth and personal information to open unauthorized lines of credit and take over and drain victims’ retirement and brokerage accounts.
For example, according to Fernandez’s plea agreement, he identified multiple victims’ brokerage accounts and fraudulently took control of the victims’ accounts by first calling the brokerage companies and providing the victims’ personal identification information, and then changing the victims’ passwords and contact information. Once he and his codefendants gained control of the accounts, members of the conspiracy wired funds from the victims’ brokerage accounts to coconspirators’ U.S. bank accounts in the San Diego and Calexico areas. Several of these wires were over $20,000 and $30,000 each.
DEFENDANT Case Number: 14cr0277GPC
Victor Alejandro Fernandez Age: 42 Chula Vista, CA
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1349
Maximum Penalties: Up to 30 years in prison and $1,000,000 fine.
Count 2: Computer Hacking – Title 18, U.S.C., Sections 1030 (a) (4) and (c) (3) (A)
Maximum Penalties: Up to five years in prison and $250,000 fine
Count 5: Aggravated Identity Theft – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1028A
Maximum Penalties: 24 months’ consecutive sentence
Federal Bureau of Investigation