Three men charged for international cell phone fraud scheme

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Multiple defendants face charges for stealing access to, and cloning victims' phones.

A federal judge has charged three men for their alleged participation in a sophisticated international cell phone fraud scheme.

Defendants Ramon Batista (aka Porfirio), 49, of Orlando, Florida; Edwin Fana, 36, of Miami Gardens, Florida; and 52-year-old Jose Santana (aka Octavio Perez), of Royal Palm Beach, Florida appeared in court this week.

According to an indictment unsealed against them, Batista, Fana, and Santana used the personal information of individuals based in the United States to steal access to and open new cell phone accounts in their names.

They then used customers' telecommunications identifying information, software, and hardware to reprogram phones under their control to transmit international calls to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and other countries with high calling rates. The costs for those calls were billed to each victim's cell phone account.

But the scheme didn't end there.


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