Tech whiz-turned-criminal stole $500K in 10 days: officials

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A fresh-faced tech whiz used a sophisticated “SIM swapping” scheme to steal half a million dollars in 10 days from more than 50 people across the US — without ever leaving the comfort of his Ohio home, Manhattan prosecutors said Friday.

Dawson Bakies, 20, pleaded not guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to 52 counts of identity theft, grand larceny, computer trespass and other raps in what authorities said was their first prosecution of such a SIM-swapping case in New York.

Bakies, who lives with his mom in Columbus, Ohio, allegedly called customer-service reps posing as his victims and was able to port their phone numbers to a device he controlled.

This gave him access to his victims’ bank and cryptocurrency accounts, authorities said.

Among his marks were three Manhattanites, according to the DA’s office.

The brazen thief tried to extort one Manhattan victim by threatening to delete the person’s Google account unless he paid a hefty ransom in bitcoin, court papers say.

Bakies raked in more than $500,000 during the scheme that started Oct. 22, 2018, and spanned just 10 days, according to court papers.

“He entered a plea of not guilty,” said his lawyer, Harlan Greenberg. “We need an opportunity to review the indictment and take a look at the evidence before we can determine what we’re going to do.”

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