CONCORD – A Derry man pleaded guilty in federal court in Concord to passport fraud and wire fraud in connection with hacking a telecommunications company, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young and Acting U.S. Attorney Morris Pasqual announce.
Andrew Mahn, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of passport fraud and one count of wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Landya B. McCafferty scheduled sentencing for March 7, 2024. Mahn was charged with passport fraud by indictment in the District of New Hampshire on February 15, 2023. Mahn was charged with hacking a telecommunications company by complaint in the Northern District of Illinois on March 17, 2021, and by indictment on October 4, 2021.
Mahn previously worked as a radio technician for a telecommunications company based in Chicago. He later worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport). While working for Massport, Mahn sent spear-phishing emails to several employees at his former employer and tricked them into entering their login credentials into a fake website. The defendant also sent text messages to the employees and deceived them into providing him their multi-factor authentication code. Eventually, Mahn was able to get access to the telecommunications company’s servers. He used anonymous Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, an account tied to his Massport email address, and bitcoin to help facilitate the hack.
While on release pending trial for hacking the telecommunications company, Mahn applied for a passport in a false name in Atkinson, New Hampshire. He provided false documents, including a falsely generated New Hampshire birth certificate and state identification card. Mahn wrote to a congressional office seeking to expedite the passport, stating the following:
I have just found out I need to book international travel shortly for family reasons in the coming weeks to Germany. I am trying to figure out the status of the application and when I can expect it to be processed and shipped.
The charge of wire fraud provides a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, and restitution. The charge of passport fraud provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
The U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service led the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander S. Chen and John J. Kennedy from the District of New Hampshire and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Bond from the Northern District of Illinois are prosecuting the case.0