Ocala Man Sentenced To 66 Months In Prison For Wire Fraud In Relation To Resale Of Wireless Communications Plans
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA –Justin Michael Lewis, 39, of Ocala, Florida was sentenced to 66 months in federal prison following his conviction for six counts of wire fraud. The sentenced was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
“Notwithstanding the size of the corporation, fraud schemes harm companies and their customers,” stated U.S. Attorney Coody. “The deceptive, persistent, and sophisticated acts employed by this defendant demonstrate the danger posed to both corporations and their consumers. With the assistance of our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who engage in acts of corporate fraud.”
Evidence introduced at trial revealed that between September 2015, and February 2018, Lewis engaged in a scheme to defraud a wireless carrier by obtaining unlimited cellular data lines through fraudulent means and reselling them to the public for a 1500% mark-up. During most of this time-period, unlimited plans were not widely available to the public. When his actions were discovered, Lewis made false representations to the carrier, created new companies in other people’s names, and submitted altered documentation to conceal his activities. Finally, he used a technique to manipulate the carrier’s customer website portal to obtain unlimited data for free through accounts he had opened in other people’s names.
In addition to the prison term, Lewis’ sentence included 3 years supervised release, the forfeiture of two residences and several bank accounts, a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $1,349,398.98, and restitution to the victim in the same amount.
“This case is an example of the FBI’s relentless effort to protect American companies and their customers,” said Sherri E. Onks, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “When individuals defraud corporations, it is ultimately citizens – the corporation’s customers – who pay the price. The FBI remains committed to pursuing investigations into corporate fraud in an effort to protect consumers from bearing the costs associated with criminal activity.”
This conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Gary Milligan and David P. Byron prosecuted the case.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida i/s one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.