CLEVELAND - Twin brothers from Miami, Florida, who participated in a nationwide scheme in which they fraudulently gained access to approximately 2,366 AT&T mobile accounts, were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Pamela A. Barker to 52 months in prison and ordered to pay $360,937 in restitution after they both pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme.
According to court documents, from March 2019 to January 2020, Luis Hernandez Socarras and Jorge Hernandez Socarras, both age 27, were part of a nationwide scheme in which they fraudulently gained access to approximately 2,366 AT&T mobile accounts and proceeded to charge millions of dollars' worth of electronic devices through the victim’s accounts for products such as iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
After gaining access to victim accounts, court documents state that the brothers later re-sold the electronic devices in their hometown of Miami, Florida. As part of the scheme and in an effort to evade police detection, court records show that the brothers rented trucks and made trips across the country, stopping at various electronics retailers in 26 states to pick up the devices they fraudulently ordered.
Court documents state that in January 2020, law enforcement authorities identified the two brothers as they were making fraudulent purchases of iPhones and iPads charged to numerous AT&T accounts at various electronics retailers in the Northern District of Ohio. Authorities later obtained a warrant and searched a vehicle belonging to Luis Socarras that was left behind in the parking lot of a retailer. Inside the vehicle, authorities located 29 Apple iPhones, 11 Pro Max cell phones, six Apple iPad Pro tablets, three Apple Watches, a firearm, other electronic devices and a passport.
The brothers were subsequently arrested in March 2021.
In total, court records show that the overall scheme caused a total loss of $2,155,483.78 to all victims.
Louis and Jorge Socarras both pleaded guilty to two counts of access device fraud, interstate transfer of stolen property and aggravated identity theft in April 2022.
This case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Payum Doroodian.