US Telco Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

The owner and manager of a Florida-based telecommunications company has pleaded guilty to what the US Department of Justice calls a…

…sophisticated global cellphone fraud scheme that involved compromising cellphone customers’ accounts and “cloning” their phones to make fraudulent international calls.

Ramón Batista (pictured) runs Arymyx, Inc., a comms provider that focuses on Spanish speakers. Per the Department of Justice press release Batista admitted to selling fraudulent comms services through his company, operating reprogrammed mobile phones through which he routed international phone calls as part of the fraud, and using and providing his accomplices with stolen customer data which was used to reprogram the phones. The victims whose data was compromised were billed for calls to Caribbean countries with high termination rates. Batista also admitted that losses caused by his fraud were worth at least USD794,000.

Batista is the fourth person to plead guilty in this case. His sentencing will be scheduled for a later date. One of his accomplices, Jose Santana, aka Octavio Perez, was sentenced to 52 months in prison on similar charges, whilst the first to be imprisoned, Edwin Fana, received a two-year sentence.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.   Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a founding member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group, and is an editorial advisor to Black Swan. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.   Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.