Florida college student charged after stealing $3.5 million from supply chain company

News & Politics

A student at the University of Miami has reportedly been charged with hacking a multi-national shipping, receiving, and supply chain management company and carrying out a nationwide scheme.

Matthew Frederic Bergwall, 21, allegedly gained unauthorized access to compromised employee accounts of a supply chain management company. Though many of the details about the case have been revealed through an indictment, the name of the company has not been identified, according to WOFL.

It appears Bergwall did not act alone, either. He and his accomplices reportedly used the compromised employee accounts to enter fake tracking information for items moved by the company on behalf of retailers across the country. As a result, this allowed those Bergwall worked with to get full refunds for items that they never returned.

Bergwall and those who worked with him offered a service, marketed as “FTID,” which ultimately resulted in almost 10,000 fraudulent returns on items that were valued around $3.5 million.

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The U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement, saying that the indictment in the case had been unsealed, charging Bergwall with “conspiracy to commit computer and mail fraud, and substantive mail fraud.” The indictment went on to say that the crimes were allegedly committed between December 2021 and April 2022.

“If convicted on all counts, Bergwall faces a maximum penalty of 45 years in federal prison,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated. “The indictment also notifies Bergwall that the United States is seeking an order of forfeiture in the amount of the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. Bergwall will make his initial appearance today in Miami.”

In addition to carrying out the FTID fraud scheme, Bergwall also allegedly purchased items for himself and later submitted fake tracking information to the company in question, prompting full refunds from victim-retailers, according to WFOL.

Some of the items Bergwall used in this scheme was a Rolex President Day-Date watch, valued at $41,000; TeamGee H2O Electric Skateboard, valued at $600; a Samsung 43-inch Smart UHD TV, valued at $350; and an $80 pair of Reebok shoes.

While the indictment has only indicated the Bergwall has been charged with the crimes, the investigation is still ongoing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office noted that the case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations Tampa, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations Miami.

Bergwall is set to appear in court on Thursday in Miami. If he is found guilty of the charges, he could face 45 years in prison.

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