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Philippines man charged with raiding US celebrities' accounts

A former FBI director and a mysterious 'entertainer' were among the targets.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 25, 2016
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Online attacks against celebrities aren't limited to perpetrators in the US. American officials have unsealed charges against Peter Locsin, a Filipino who allegedly participated in a plot to compromise the financial accounts of at least five high-profile targets. Officials aren't naming the victims, but they do mention the CEO of an international corporation and a "well-known socialite and entertainer." Last year, when Locsin was arrested, the Philippine Star claimed that former FBI director Robert Mueller (shown above) was one of the targets.

The perpetrators reportedly swiped the personal details of their victims (such as Social Security numbers) in order to get access to their bank accounts and credit cards. After that, they went to town with attempts to transfer money, go on virtual shopping sprees or take further control by changing account details.

Prosecutors haven't yet asked for Locsin to be extradited to the US. However, the penalties could be severe -- he faces up to 30 years in prison if he's convicted. Even if there's a lighter sentence, it'll be clear that stealing sensitive info (at least, from the wrong people) can carry a steep price.

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