Store Owner Convicted In $25 Million Scheme To Illegally Unlock Phones

The Justice Department announced that a former mobile store was found guilty of running a $25 million cell phone scheme. Prosecutors said that Argishti Khudaverdyan, 44, illegally unlocked cell phones from 2014 until he was arrested in 2019.

During that time, he fraudulently unlocked and unblocked hundreds of thousands of cell phones.

Khudaverdyan helped customers get around carrier locks that prevented them from using their phones on another network until their contract had been fulfilled. He also unblocked cell phones that had been reported stolen by their owners.

He also operated a T-Mobile store for six months in 2017, which gave him access to T-Mobile’s internal systems and allowed him to unlock phones for his customers. The telecom company terminated his contract after noticing suspicious activity.

He continued to access the systems after stealing the log-in information from 50 T-Mobile employees.

Khudaverdyan faces decades in prison after being found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, two counts of accessing a computer to defraud and obtain value, one count of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization to obtain information, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, five counts of money laundering, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

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