The United States has withdrawn an extradition request for an Irish hacker convicted of breaking into digital wallets to steal millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.
Conor Freeman was once recognized through US Homeland Security as one of at least 5 co-conspirators involved in a string of digital thefts that robbed multiple victims of their life savings in 2018.
Freeman was arrested at his Dublin home in May 2019 on a warrant issued through US authorities. Following his arrest, the hacker handed over stolen Bitcoin worth $2,187,977 to Gardaí the Irish police.
Freeman, of Dun Laoghaire, pleaded responsible to stealing cryptocurrency, dishonestly running a PC to make a gain, and knowingly engaging in the possession of the proceeds of crime. In November 2020, the 21-year-old was sentenced to three months in jail minus one month served in custody by Judge Martin Nolan in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
The US had requested Freeman to be surrendered and extradited to the United States to face charges of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 4 counts of aiding and abetting wire fraud, and 4 counts of aiding and abetting aggravated identification theft.
US authorities alleged that Freeman used to be a member of an equipped online crook gang known as The Community that conspired to steal from targets they picked out on social media. The gang used SIM-swapping to gain control of a victim’s smartphone number, leveraging it to gain access into their digital wallets.
A member of The Community, arrested in Michigan in May 2018, gave US authorities access to his computers. The member’s online chat data revealed an individual calling himself Conor was involved in the thefts.
IP addresses used by this Conor have been linked to an Irish cellular smartphone and residential net provider carriers used by Conor Freeman.
The High Court heard this morning that following his conviction in Ireland, the United States was no longer seeking to prosecute Freeman, who had no prior convictions.
Had Freeman been convicted in the US on all counts, the Dubliner should have been sentenced to a most of 108 years at the back of bars.