A Louisiana man and a Florida man allegedly gained access to professional athletes’ social media accounts and either sold the information or used it to extort payments, according to federal criminal complaints released on Wednesday.
Trevontae Washington and Ronnie Magrehbi each face wire fraud conspiracy and computer fraud conspiracy counts filed by the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.
The 21-year-old Washington, of Thibodaux, Louisiana, allegedly obtained usernames and passwords for multiple NFL and NBA players, and sold access to the information.
Magrehbi, 20, of Orlando, Florida, allegedly obtained an NFL player’s e-mail and Instagram account information, and extorted money by publishing explicit photos of the player and threatening to publish more.
Washington and Magrehbi were on Wednesday to make initial court appearances in their respective states. They were not alleged to have worked together on the scams.
Their alleged victims included two NFL players and one NBA player, all of whom lived in New Jersey at the time of the alleged crimes.
According to the complaint, Washington used a “phishing” scam — requesting login information purportedly for a legitimate purpose — to gain access to the accounts of one NFL player in 2018 and locked the player out of the accounts.
Washington also allegedly took over the accounts of at least two other players, and acknowledged to investigators after his arrest last year that he had sold access to players’ accounts for US$500 to US$1,000 each, the complaint said.
Magrehbi also allegedly used phishing to take over the social media accounts of an NFL player living in New Jersey in 2018 who eventually paid him US$500, according to the complaint.
A few days later, explicit images of the player were posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts and he was asked for an additional US$2,500 to prevent the publishing of additional photos, the complaint said.
The request came from a prepaid cellphone linked to Magrehbi, according to the complaint.
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