Man get more than 5 years in cellphone insurance scam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a man who scammed his way into getting an insurance company to ship out nearly 2,500 fraudulently obtained cellphones has been sentenced to serve more than five years in prison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith of the Middle District of Tennessee said 24-year-old Johnny Santiago Valdez Calderon was sentenced to serve 61 months in prison for engaging in a wire fraud and identity theft scheme.

Court documents say Valdez Calderon was living in the Dominican Republic but having runners pick up phones shipped to hotels around the U.S., sell them and send him most of the proceeds.

Officials say Valdez Calderon assumed the identities of the Nashville-based insurance company’s customers to submit fraudulent claims online. It’s not clear how he got the customer’s identity information.