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Tampa Man Sentenced to Federal Prison in Identity Theft Case

Crime | Arrests | Courts

He and his co-conspirators used stolen account information to charge the costs of upgraded Apple iPhones to the accounts of AT&T customers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

GREENBELT, MD – A Tampa man was sentenced to federal prison Friday (April 12) for his role in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and for aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland said.

Alonia Anderson Perkins, 42, of Tampa, was sentenced to four years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $6,500.

Co-defendant Toni Ann Bobet, age 30, of New York, NY, also pleaded guilty Thursday (April 11) to her role in the scheme.

According to their plea agreements, Perkins, Bobet, and co-defendant Celeste Nyleen Carmona, 23, of New York, NY, conspired to obtain, charge, and finance the costs of upgraded Apple iPhones against true AT&T customers’ accounts. The defendants admitted that they used stolen account information, telephone upgrade eligibility, and personal identifying information of actual AT&T Mobility customers to obtain the iPhones, which Bobet then provided to her co-conspirators in New York City.

Specifically, in July 2015 and April 2016, respectively, Bobet recruited Carmona and Perkins into the scheme. In May 2016, Bobet drove Perkins and Carmona from New York City to Apple Stores located in Maryland and elsewhere to obtain Apple iPhones for resale.

For example, on May 16, 2016, Bobet provided Perkins and Carmona with fraudulent identification cards that contained the stolen personal information of victim AT&T customers, but bore the photographs of Perkins and Carmona, as well as counterfeit credit and debit cards in the victim customers’ names. Bobet had obtained the stolen identity information from her co-conspirators in New York City.

Bobet drove Perkins and Carmona to the Apple Store located at the Mall in Columbia, MD. Perkins and Carmona entered the Apple stores while Bobet remained in the car. Perkins and Carmona each posing as a victim customer, purchased an Apple iPhone on the victim customers’ accounts.

Bobet then drove Perkins and Carmona to Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Carmona, posing as a victim customer purchased two more iPhones on the account of that customer. Perkins tried to buy an iPhone on the account of a fourth victim customer, but that customer’s account reflected a past due balance of $100, and Perkins was unable to upgrade any lines on that victim’s account until the balance was paid. Perkins abandoned the transaction and left the store, while Carmona completed her transaction.

Police responded to the Westfield Mall and located Bobet’s vehicle in the parking lot. Bobet attempted to leave, but law enforcement stopped the vehicle. Bobet, Perkins, and Carmona were taken into custody and transported to police headquarters. A search of Bobet recovered two cellular phones that contained AT&T account information and personal identifying information of at least 20 individuals. Bobet’s vehicle was seized and a search warrant for the vehicle was obtained. Law enforcement recovered a laptop, a tablet, counterfeit identification cards, credit and debit cards, and a black duffle bag containing the four fraudulently obtained Apple iPhones.

AT&T records also showed that during the time frame of the conspiracy, the name of Alonia Perkins was fraudulently added to four AT&T accounts in Florida and that three of these victims’ accounts had their billing addresses changed to Perkins’ address in Florida. The records also showed that Perkins later financed at least six Apple iPhones against the four victims’ customer accounts. AT&T records further showed that the name Nyleen C. Carmona, or derivatives of that name, were added to 24 victims’ accounts, and Carmona later financed at least 46 Apple iPhones against the victims’ accounts.

Bobet and Carmona admitted that during the time of their participation in the conspiracy at least $95,001 and $40,001 in losses, respectively, were traceable to them.

Bobet and Carmona face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud conspiracy, and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence imposed, for aggravated identity theft.

U.S. Attorney | Courts | Crime | Identity Theft | Tampabay News

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Tampa Man Sentenced to Federal Prison in Identity Theft Case
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Tampa Man Sentenced to Federal Prison in Identity Theft Case
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He and his co-conspirators used stolen account information to charge the costs of upgraded Apple iPhones to the accounts of AT&T customers, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
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TB Reporter
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