Friday, August 21, 2009

Eight Indicted For $22M Identity Theft Scam Against AT&T, T-Mobile

Via -

Eight defendants were arraigned in a Brooklyn court yesterday for allegedly using the stolen identities of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Asurion customers to steal some $22 million worth of wireless equipment and services.

An indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court yesterday morning charging Courtney Beckford, Gabe Beizem, Rawl Davis, Lennox Lambert, Marsha Montayne, Saul Serrano, Ron Shealey, and Rohan Stewart, with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Beizem, Montayne, and Stewart were also charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, between February 2005 and July 2009, Beizem -- an owner of Got Wireless (aka USA Wireless), a former authorized AT&T and T-Mobile dealer that operated in Brooklyn -- obtained dealer access codes for AT&T's and T-Mobile's online customer databases. Stewart, the owner of KP Wireless -- an authorized T-Mobile wireless device dealer operating in West Palm Beach, Florida -- also obtained dealer access codes for T-Mobile's customer database.

Using these access codes, Beizem, Stewart, and Montayne, and others, allegedly obtained existing customer information from the customer databases, including customers' names, addresses, and personal identifying information, the indictment says. Montayne, and others, then fraudulently assumed the identities of existing customers and obtained new wireless devices without payment and without the customers' permission.


As a result of these fraudulent requests, AT&T and T-Mobile shipped new or replacement wireless devices for express mail delivery by FedEx, DHL or UPS, according to the indictment. The FedEx and DHL shipments from AT&T were generally shipped to addresses along the routes of private express mail drivers whom Beckford, Davis, Lambert, and Stewart, and others, allegedly recruited and paid to divert the packages.

FedEx and DHL drivers, including Serrano and Shealey, then allegedly scanned the packages into their respective carrier's computerized tracking systems as "delivered" to the stated delivery addresses, but actually diverted the packages to Beckford, Davis, Lambert, and Stewart, and others. UPS shipments from T-Mobile were shipped directly to addresses connected to the defendants and their associates.

Beckford, Beizem, Davis, and Montayne, and others, allegedly then sold the fraudulently obtained wireless devices to others. When charges were incurred on these devices, they were billed to existing AT&T and T-Mobile customers' accounts. When the customers reported or confirmed the fraud on their accounts to AT&T and T-Mobile, the companies absorbed the losses, which included the cost of the devices, insurance payments, shipping costs, and wireless service and other calling charges.

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