Phone company

Former phone company employee charged with role in SIM swapping scam targeting at least 19 customers, including New Orleans resident | USAO-EDLA

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that STEPHEN DANIEL DEFIORE 36, a resident of Brandon, Florida, was charged today in a Bill of Information on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, contrary to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1343, for his role in a SIM Swap scam that targeted at least nineteen people, including a New Orleans-area doctor. DEFIORE is the second member of the conspiracy to be charged.

According to the Bill of Information, a SIM Swap scam is a cell phone account takeover fraud that results in a victim’s incoming calls and text messages being routed to another phone. Once an attacker is able to swap the SIM card, it is likely that they are able to access the victim’s various personal accounts, including email accounts, bank accounts, and mobile accounts. cryptocurrency, as well as any other accounts using two-factor authentication. .

From August 2017 to November 2018, DEFIORE worked as a sales representative for Telephone Company A. As such, DEFIORE had access to Telephone Company A’s customer accounts, including the ability to switch the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card tied to a customer’s phone number to a different phone number. Between October 20, 2018 and November 9, 2018, DEFIORE accepted several bribes, usually in the amount of around $500 per day, to effect SIM card swaps from Telephone Company A customers identified by a co-conspirator. For each SIM swap, a co-conspirator sent DEFIORE a customer’s phone number, a four-digit PIN, and a SIM card number to which the phone number was to be redeemed. In total, DEFIORE received approximately $2,325 in twelve installments. Of the people whose accounts DEFIORE Access was Victim A, a New Orleans resident, whose phone number was swapped on November 10, 2018 for a SIM card contained in an Apple iPhone 8 that was in the possession of Richard Li. Li was charged with his role in the offense in June 2020.

If he is found guilty, DEFIORE faces a maximum penalty of five (5) years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, up to three (3) years of supervised release from imprisonment and a mandatory special assessment of $100 per charge.

US Attorney Strasser reiterated that an information statement is only an accusation and that the defendant’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

US Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg, supervisor of the Public Corruption Unit, is in charge of the prosecution.