British Afrobeat artist Idrissu Dayo Mustafa has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $6 million through hacked email and brokerage accounts. It happened Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York, where he pleaded guilty to crimes including computer hacking, securities fraud and wire fraud. Mustafa faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to the US Department of Justice, from 2011 to 2018, Mustafa and his accomplices used phishing attacks and hacking servers to illegally access financial accounts from which they transferred funds and stole securities. Fraudsters first faked money transfers by impersonating victims before moving on to more sophisticated securities fraud schemes.
In 2016, Mustafa forced one of the victims to buy shares at inflated prices using a hacked brokerage account, then sold the shares from his account at a profit. In two months, he made $68,000, while his victims lost about $289,000.
In addition to the financial scams, Mustafa and his accomplices conducted romantic relationships online under fictitious names to create “drop accounts” to transfer money. At the height of his criminal career, Mustafa was a member of the Afrobeat band Built to Win Baller’s Club and recorded music under the pseudonym Drizzle Lomo. According to Nigeria’s The Guardian, he studied information and communication technology at the University of Bradford in the UK.