Men plead guilty in 3-state cellphone scheme

January 30, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say three California men have pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme in which high-dollar cellphones were fraudulently obtained from retail stores in three states and then resold for [auth] profit.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Gonzales says Jeffrey Contella and Joseph Cohen of Los Angeles and Amir Meir Levi of Sherman Oaks entered their pleas in federal court in Albuquerque on Wednesday.

They were indicted last February on conspiracy to transport stolen property and fraud charges.

A trial is pending for a fourth defendant, Joshua Ferdman.

Prosecutors say the men traveled to Sprint stores throughout California, Arizona and New Mexico and impersonated Sprint customers to obtain cellphones without paying for them. The phones were then sold at a store owned by Cohen and through an online store hosted by eBay.

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