Telecom owner gets six years for international call fraud scheme

Last week, a Florida district judge sentenced Ramon Batista, owner and operator of Arymyx, to 75 months in prison. Batista pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the US, one count of wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Batista’s role in a scheme where cellphone account information was used to make fraudulent calls to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica was as a leader with his co-conspirators all getting prison time as well. Batista and his accomplices started the fraudulent activity by stealing access to and/or opening new cellphone accounts using personal information of US citizens. He and his co-conspirators used the illegally-obtained data to reprogram the cell phones to ensure they were under their control.

Finally, Batista and his crew operated “call sites” where they began making phone calls via other people’s cell phones. Once the mobile phones were altered, they transmitted thousands of international calls via VoIP to the call sites, where they were then routed through the altered mobile phones. The calls were sent to nations with very high calling rates and the owner of the cell phones were billed for very expensive calls. These criminals also illegally used Sprint and Verizon lines, resulting in almost a million dollars in losses.

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