Man sentenced to 12 years in $200 million phone-fraud scheme

SEATTLE (AP) — A Pakistan resident has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for a conspiracy to “unlock” phones from AT&T’s network, a scheme that the company says cost it more than $200 million.

Muhammad Fahd began bribing employees of an AT&T call center in Bothell, Washington, in 2012, to use their credentials to unlock phones — allowing them to be removed from AT&T’s network, even if customers had not finished paying for the expensive devices.

He later had them install malware on the company’s network, allowing him to unlock the phones from Pakistan. He paid three AT&T workers $922,000 from 2012 to 2017 before he was arrested in Hong Kong.

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