Golshan’s schemes involved SIM swapping, social media account takeovers, Zelle payment fraud, and impersonating Apple Support personnel.

A 25-year-old man from downtown Los Angeles has been sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for orchestrating a series of online scams that defrauded hundreds of victims of over $740,000.

Amir Hossein Golshan (PDF) was convicted of one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information, one count of wire fraud, and one count of accessing a computer to defraud and obtain value.

Golshan’s schemes involved SIM swapping, social media account takeovers, Zelle payment fraud, and impersonating Apple Support personnel. He used these methods to steal money, NFTs, cryptocurrency, and other valuable digital property from his victims.

In one instance, Golshan targeted a Los Angeles-based model and influencer with over 100,000 Instagram followers. He gained access to her Instagram account and impersonated her to her friends, requesting them to send him money through Zelle, PayPal, and other online payment platforms.

Several of the victim’s friends sent Golshan money, totalling thousands of dollars, believing they were sending money to the victim. In another instance, Golshan impersonated Apple Support personnel to gain unauthorized access to several victims’ Apple iCloud accounts. He then stole NFTs, cryptocurrency, and other valuable digital property from these accounts.

In another case, he stole an NFT valued at approximately $319,000 and approximately $70,000 worth of cryptocurrency from a victim. U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II, who sentenced Golshan, stated that his crimes went “beyond just money” and that they showed a “wanton cruelty” that caused the victims to live in a state of “constant fear and worry.”

According to the US Department of Justice’s press release on Monday, November 27, 2023, Golshan has been in federal custody since June 2023 for violating the terms of his pretrial release. In addition to his prison sentence, he is ordered to pay $1,218,526 in restitution to his victims.

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