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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 16, 2018

6 Defendants Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Cellphone Fraud Scheme

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and David E. Beach, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Secret Service (“USSS”), announced charges today against six individuals in a fraud conspiracy from December 2017 through July 2018.  BRIAN CAPELLAN, NELSON ALBA DEJESUS, JEAN MEDINA, JONTHAN MORA, JESUS ALBERTO REMOND, EMMANOL DIONIS BAEZ RODRIGUEZ, and their associates allegedly engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain cellular phones from a cellular phone provider by accessing victim accounts online and adding names as authorized users of the accounts.  Five defendants were arrested in the Southern District of New York and will be presented today before United States Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison.  DEJESUS remains at large.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “The defendants allegedly accessed cellphone user accounts to fraudulently obtain cellphones worth more than $750,000.  Thanks to the Secret Service, the defendants’ mobile phone scam has been immobilized.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today:[1]

From at least in or about December 2017 through and including July 2018, BRIAN CAPELLAN, NELSON ALBA DEJESUS, JEAN MEDINA, JONTHAN MORA, JESUS ALBERTO REMOND, and EMMANOL DIONIS BAEZ RODRIGUEZ, together and with others, perpetrated a scheme to fraudulently obtain cellular phones.  During the scheme, the defendants added their names as authorized users on existing accounts with a telecommunications company that provides cellular telephone services (the “Victim Accounts”).  The registered owners of these Victim Accounts did not know or authorize these additions.  Once the names were added as authorized users, the defendants purchased cellular phones in person as part of a handset upgrade and charged the cost of the cellular phones to the Victim Accounts.  The six defendants alone are responsible for over $750,000 in losses for their roles in the scheme. 

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CAPELLAN, 22, of the Bronx, New York, DEJESUS, 25, of Yonkers, New York, MEDINA, 19, of the Bronx, New York, MORA, 27, of the Bronx, New York, REMOND, 27, of the Bronx, New York, and BAEZ RODRIGUEZ, 31, of Hollywood, Florida, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of New York Field Office Electronic Crimes Task Force of the United States Secret Service and the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as the DEA New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, for their assistance. 

The case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Bagliebter is in charge of the prosecution. 

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

 


 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
18-285
Updated August 16, 2018