In July 2023, the US Department of Justice on Monday charged a Moroccan national accused of impersonating OpenSea marketplace functions in order to make off with cryptocurrencies and NFTs, including a Bored Ape. Apart from NFTs, Oulahyane is accused of stealing ether (ETH).
Prosecutors accused Soufiane Oulahyane, 25, of defrauding a Manhattan resident and others of approximately $450,000 of digital assets in September 2021. According to the allegations, the DOJ alleges Oulahyane “spoofed” OpenSea, creating a site that mimicked the real OpenSea to trick customers into logging in and swiping their OpenSea credentials in the process. He allegedly bought “paid advertisements on a popular search engine” to boost the fake page.
“Oulahyane is alleged to have operated a spoof website to gain unauthorized access to victims’ cryptocurrency wallets to steal their cryptocurrency and NFTs,” FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Christie Curtis said.
The DOJ charged Oulahyane with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, affecting transactions “with an unauthorized device” and use of an unauthorized device.
He’s in Moroccan custody. Oulahyane stole a seed phrase from a New York-based victim’s wallet after the victim accidentally landed on the fake OpenSea login page — designed by Oulahyane — and not the actual marketplace. From there, Oulahyane was able to steal 39 NFTs, including their Bored Ape.