Prosecutors have succeeded in obtaining long prison sentences for criminals engaged in a USD20M fraud of US telcos including AT&T, Verizon, XO Communications, Excel Communications, Waymark Communications, Bandwidth.com and CommPartners.
Prison sentences of 40 years, 30 years and 9 years have been handed down to some of the guilty parties. Restitution and other penalties were worth tens of millions of dollars. A release from the Courthouse News Service revealed that the fraudsters obtained services and equipment by creating bogus shell companies:
“The conspirators created, purchased and used shell companies to hide the true identity of the owners or operators of the companies, or the relationships between the companies,” prosecutors said in a statement. “The conspirators paid persons including homeless persons for the use of their identities to ‘act’ as the officers, directors or managers of the shell companies. They also used P.O. boxes, commercial remailer services, shell offices, apartments or other physical locations to hide owners’ or operators’ identities or the relationships between the companies.”
You can read more about the story at the Star-Telegram.