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N.J. man admits $540K cell phone fraud scam that hit 300 people in 10 states

A New Jersey man admitted Monday he led a criminal ring that obtained nearly $540,000 worth of iPhones, iPads, and AirPods by taking over the cell phone accounts of at least 300 people in 10 states.

Henry Perez, 33, of Fort Lee, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced Jan. 18, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement. He also agreed to pay restitution of $539,654.96.

Perez and others impersonated their victims, changed those customers’ account information so they wouldn’t receive fraud alerts and charged merchandise to those people’s accounts, according to prosecutors. Typically, the victims were also without cell phone service for a period of time.

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