A federal judge has ordered that a Palm Coast teenager be held in custody pending his trial on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Noah Michael Urban, 19, is accused of being part of a cryptocurrency theft scheme that resulted in the theft of at least $800,000 from five victims between August 2022 and March 2023.
Urban, who also goes by the aliases “King Bob,” “Sosa,” “Elijah,” and “Anthony Ramirez,” was arrested on January 9 and has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and five counts of aggravated identity theft. His trial is scheduled to begin on March 4 in Jacksonville.
According to the indictment, Urban and his co-conspirators obtained victims’ personal information and used it to fraudulently access their virtual currency addresses. They then used a SIM swap to take over the victims’ cellphone accounts and access their accounts, including those with two-factor authentication. The stolen cryptocurrency was then transferred to wallets controlled by the defendants.
At a detention hearing on January 19, Federal Magistrate Judge Joel B. Toomey cited several reasons for keeping Urban in custody pending his trial. These included his use of aliases and his lack of a fixed address, as well as evidence that he was attempting to delete computer files and had previously violated instructions to cease contact with his co-conspirators and refrain from engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.
In addition, Urban was unable to provide a urine sample and declined to answer detailed questions about his financial situation. Despite never having been employed, he appears to be self-supporting. The weight of evidence against him was also deemed to be strong, and if convicted, he could face a lengthy prison sentence. Ultimately, Judge Toomey determined that there were no conditions that could reasonably ensure Urban’s appearance at trial.
It is alleged that Urban and his co-conspirators were able to steal the cryptocurrency by using a SIM swap, a type of fraud in which they took over the victims’ cellphone accounts and intercepted their messages and texts. This allowed them to reset passwords and gain access to the victims’ accounts.
In conclusion, the indictment alleges that Urban and his co-conspirators used stolen personal information to fraudulently access victims’ virtual currency accounts and transfer the stolen cryptocurrency to their own wallets. Urban’s trial is set to begin in March, and he remains in custody until then.