Big Sky Roundup

Computer hacker admits to stealing $150,000 from elderly Montanan

By: - October 17, 2023 4:45 pm

Photo illustration by Getty Images.

A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in stealing $150,000 by hacking into an elderly Montana woman’s computer, according to a press release from the Montana U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sukhdev Vaid, 24, of India, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release after admitting to wire fraud.

Vaid accessed a 73-year-old woman’s account in February through a pop-up on the Kalispell woman’s computer screen saying her computer was “hacked” and telling her to call a number for customer support. The woman complied when fraudsters told her to take cash out from her bank accounts for safe keeping at the “Fed,” giving Vaid and another man $150,000 in cash.

In a ruse set up by the feds in March, the woman, who is identified only as Jane Doe, told the hackers she still had $50,000 in cash. Law enforcement arrested Vaid and co-defendant Eddly Joseph, of Gainesville, Florida, when they arrived in Montana to steal the money, according to the government.

The investigation determined that the fraudsters remotely accessed Jane Doe’s computer using UltraViewer, which they installed on her computer.

Joseph pleaded guilty in August to wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing.

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