Miami Crew Leader Receives 63-Month Prison Sentence for $4M Crypto Fraud

Published: Dec 1, 2023
Written By:
Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer

Esteban Cabrera Da Corte, also known as “Esteban Cabrera” was sentenced on Friday to 63 months in federal prison for leading a scheme to steal millions of dollars in crypto.

The 27-year-old from Miami used stolen personal information to set up fake accounts and trick U.S. banks and a major cryptocurrency exchange into reversing legitimate crypto purchases while allowing him to keep the currencies.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announced the sentence, saying “Esteban Cabrera Da Corte orchestrated a scheme to steal millions of dollars by buying cryptocurrency using false and stolen identities, then deceiving U.S. banks regarding those transactions.”

Leader of Miami Crew stole over $4 million in crypto

Williams added that the sentence “should send a clear message that we, together with our law enforcement partners, will continue to zealously prosecute cryptocurrency scammers and money launderers.”

  • Between 2020 and March 2020, Da Corte and associates stole over $4 million by exploiting the cryptocurrency purchase process.
  • They opened exchange accounts with fake passports and licenses using stolen personal details.
  • Linked bank accounts to exchange accounts and used deposited cash to buy cryptocurrency.
  • Quickly transferred currencies to outside wallet accounts they controlled.
  • Falsely claimed to banks that the purchases were unauthorized to get transactions reversed.
  • Kept withdrawn cash while still holding $3.5 million in currencies from reversed sales.

In addition to 63 months in prison, Da Corte must pay $3.6 million in restitution to victims and forfeit $1.2 million. The scheme resulted in over $4 million in fraudulent bank transaction reversals.

U.S. Attorney Williams said the sentence shows the commitment to prosecuting crimes involving cryptocurrency and money laundering. Da Corte was the leader of the complex plot to exploit security processes around cryptocurrency purchases.

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer
Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 5 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.