Phone company

Former phone company employee sentenced to three months probation for role in SIM card swapping scam plot targeting at least 19 customers, including a New Orleans resident | USAO-EDLA

NEW ORLEANS – US Attorney Duane Evans announced that STEPHEN DANIEL DEFIORE 36-year-old Brandon, Florida resident was sentenced on October 19, 2021 to three (3) months probation, with one year house arrest by United States District Judge Jay C. Zainey after previously pleaded guilty to one count of Information charging 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 ten- nine people, including a physician from the New Orleans area. DEFIORE was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service, payment of $77,417.50 in restitution, and payment of a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.

According to court documents, 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 and was charged in a superseding indictment in August 2021.

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