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Press Release

New York Man Admits Pivotal Role In iPhone Theft Scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A New York man who played a pivotal role in a conspiracy that defrauded AT&T out of between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of Apple iPhones obtained from Walmart stores in Rhode Island and elsewhere pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Christopher Sanchez Matos, 34, of Bronx, NY, admitted to a federal judge that, in some instances, he supplied members of a conspiracy with personal identification information for AT&T Wireless customers. Posing as authorized AT&T customers, Sanchez and others obtained iPhones from Walmart stores without paying for them, aside from applicable sales tax.

According to court documents, for each Apple iPhone obtained through the scheme, the group member would receive money from a retail store in the Bronx.

Matos is scheduled to be sentenced on October 20, 2022. Co-conspirators Ruben Gomez, 24; Oliver Mercedes, 24; and Javier Rodriguez, 26, all from Bronx, NY, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

The defendants’ sentences will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Milind M. Shah. The matter was investigated by the United States Secret Service.




Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated July 19, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-107