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Westchester Resident Among Six Charged In Cell Phone Fraud Scheme

White Plains Federal Court.
White Plains Federal Court. Photo Credit: File

Six men, including a Westchester resident, were charged in White Plains Federal Court with allegedly stealing nearly a million dollars worth of cell phones through an elaborate scheme.

Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and members of the United States Secret Service announced that six men and their associates “allegedly engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain cellular phones from a cellular phone provider by accessing victim accounts online and adding names as authorized users of the accounts.”

Among those charged include:

  • Yonkers resident Nelson Alba Dejesus, 25;
  • Bronx resident Brian Capellan, 22;
  • Bronx resident Jean Medina, 19;
  • Bronx resident Jonthan Mora, 27;
  • Bronx resident Jesus Alberto Remond, 27;
  • Hollywood, Florida resident Emmanol Dionis Baez Rodriguez, 31.

Five of the six men have been arrested and are due in court on Friday. Dejesus remains at large.

According to the federal complaint, from December 2017 through July 2018, the men perpetrated a scheme to fraudulently obtain cellphones. As part of the scehme, they would add their names as authorized users on existing accounts with a telecommunications company that provides cell service.

Berman said the registered owners of the accounts did not know or authorize the additions. Once the names were added to the accounts, the men and their associates proceeded to purchase cellphones as part of a handset upgrade and charged the cost of the phones to the accounts.

In total, the men are responsible for more than $750,000 in losses. Each has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. They face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted.

“The defendants allegedly accessed cellphone user accounts to fraudulently obtain cellphones worth more than $750,000,” Berman said. “Thanks to the Secret Service, the defendants’ mobile phone scam has been immobilized.”

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