A San Jose man was found guilty by a federal jury for a scheme where he hacked into customer cellular accounts and ordered phones that he would then re-sell or send to Russia, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Alexander Kosmin, 23, was convicted Tuesday of receiving stolen property that had traveled in interstate commerce, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and restitution.
According to authorities, Kosmin was part of an operation that illegally accessed AT&T and Verizon customers' online accounts, ordered phones, including iPhones, and had them shipped to various hotels in the Bay Area and Santa Cruz.
Using an array of false recipients and false identities, Kosmin collected the phones and either sent them to an unnamed co-conspirator in Russia or sold them on Craigslist.
The scheme started unraveling in February 2011 when AT&T contacted the National Cyber Forensic Training Alliance after discovering fraudulent orders, tipped off in part by the phones being sent to addresses and names that did not match the customer accounts. The FBI was then summoned to investigate, surveilling Kosmin for seven months before arresting him.
Contact Robert Salonga at 408-920-5002. Follow him at Twitter.com/robertsalonga.