Jason Ray Bailey and Victor Alejandro Fernandez, both of California, have been charged with computer hacking and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a Courthouse News report. The men are accused of “hacking into the computer servers of a major U.S. mortgage broker to steal personal information and use it to siphon funds from the brokerage accounts” of more than 4,000 victims, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Prosecutors maintain that Bailey and Fernandez stole personal data from the brokerage between 2012 and 2013, using the stolen information “to impersonate the mortgage customers, open lines of credit in their names, and steal their assets.” The men sometimes got control of their victims’ accounts be calling the brokerage and using the stolen data to change victims’ passwords and contact details, Courthouse News reported. They also wired victims’ money to their own accounts in Southern California.
“Several of these wires were over $20,000 and $30,000 each,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
If convicted, Bailey and Fernandez could each receive up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and up to five years for computer hacking. The conspiracy charged carries up to a $1 million fine, while the hacking charge carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
Two suspected hackers could face up to 35 years each in prison if convicted on federal charges of breaking into mortgage brokers’ computers to steal clients’ personal information.