Miami Gardens’ Edwin Fana flipped the usual order of life events, becoming a company president and CEO in 2009 years before getting a technology degree in 2016.
But the $1 million worth of cellphone fraud Fana admits to committing as head of Super Telecom means he’ll have to wait a four-year federal prison stretch before putting his FIU degree to use.
Fana, 37, got sentenced Thursday to 48 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, access device fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to the plea agreement, “The object of the conspiracy was to make money by routing telephone communications through cellular telephone accounts that the conspirators were not authorized to use without paying the cellular telephone carriers servicing those accounts for the services that they provided.”
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From Fana’s Miami Gardens home, he ran the plan’s “call center.” He’d get cellphone account information acquired via phishing or other electronic con man schemes. That information allowed Fana to reprogram cellphones through which he would route international calls his partners made over the internet. The calls were made to Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic and other countries expensive to call.
Fana incorporated Super Telecom in 2009 to conduct the scheme, which he claims was suggested to him by Edgar Peralta while Fana was in the Dominican Republic.
“The cellular telephone carrier for the account whose information had been re-programmed into each cellular telephone would connect the call to its international destination, mistakenly believing that it had been placed by one of its legitimate customers,” the plea agreement explained. “In doing so, the cellular telephone carrier would incur the expenses of completing the calls. However, because the calls were not actually made by their customers, the carriers generally did not require the customers to pay for the calls, and thus the carriers were not compensated for the service they provided. The conspirators would share amongst themselves payments received by the telecommunications service providers whose calls they routed without having to pay the costs of completing the routed calls.”
Until the FBI raid on Fana’s home in October 2012, the electronic thievery stole at least $1,095,600 worth of services by calculation of the number of lines stolen and at least $100 of services per line.