Indian Origin Creates Fake Coinbase Site, Steals $37M

Written on 05/24/2024
Asia91 Team


CHARLOTTE, NC - Chirag Tomar, 30, a citizen of India, pleaded guilty on May 20, 2024, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan C. Rodriguez to federal charges for orchestrating a $37 million spoofing scheme targeting Coinbase users. Tomar remains in federal custody after his arrest at Atlanta airport on December 20, 2023.

 

Tomar's guilty plea for wire fraud conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of North Carolina.

 

  • Suspect: Chirag Tomar, 30, Indian citizen
  • Charges: Wire fraud conspiracy, max 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine
  • Arrest: December 20, 2023, Atlanta airport
  • Plea Date: May 20, 2024
  • Victims: Hundreds worldwide, including North Carolina
  • Amount Stolen: Over $37 million

 

Tomar used the victims’ funds to lead a lavish lifestyle, purchasing luxury items such as Rolex watches, Lamborghinis, Porsches, and funding trips to exotic locations like Dubai and Thailand.

 

Investigative Findings

From June 2021, Tomar and his co-conspirators stole millions in cryptocurrency by spoofing the Coinbase Pro website. The fake site, CoinbasePro.com, mimicked the authentic Coinbase site, deceiving users into entering their login credentials. This allowed fraudsters to access users' accounts, transferring cryptocurrency holdings to wallets they controlled.

 

In February 2022, a victim in North Carolina lost over $240,000 after being tricked by a fake Coinbase representative. The representative obtained the victim’s two-factor authentication information, facilitating the theft.

 

 

Tomar admitted to controlling multiple cryptocurrency wallets and receiving transactions totaling tens of millions of dollars. He converted the stolen cryptocurrency into cash and distributed it among himself and his co-conspirators.

 

This case highlights the vulnerabilities in online security and the sophisticated methods fraudsters use to exploit them. Tomar's actions have led to significant financial losses and impacted numerous victims worldwide.