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Three charged in Florida federal court for global mobile telecom scam

Three defendants were charged in federal court last week for their role in a global telecommunications fraud conspiracy that compromised mobile phone users' accounts and cloned their cell phones to make unauthorized illegal international calls.

The Department of Justice reports that Ramon Batista, 49, of Orlando, Florida; Edwin Fana, 36, of Miami Gardens, Florida; and Jose Santana, 52, of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., were each arraigned in U.S. District Court in Southern Florida, in relation to an FBI-led anti-telecom fraud campaign dubbed Operation Toll Free. The charges included wire fraud; access device fraud; the use, production or possession of modified telecommunications instruments; aggravated identity theft and more.

According to the DoJ, the three defendants allegedly stole and trafficked victims' telecommunications account information and used that data to clone cell phones that sent out thousands of international calls that were billed to victims' accounts. They also used the reprogrammed phones to run an illegal call termination business.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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