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Verizon Tech Given 4-year Federal Prison Sentence For $4.5M Equipment Scam 163

Posted by timothy
from the job-opportunities dept.
McGruber writes "Michael Baxter, the network engineer at the southeastern regional headquarters of Verizon Wireless who submitted hundreds of fraudulent service requests to Cisco, has been sentenced to four years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Baxter was also ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to Cisco Systems, and $462,828 in restitution to Verizon. Instead of placing the replacement parts into service in the Verizon Wireless network, Baxter took the parts home and sold them to third-party re-sellers for his own profit. He used the money to buy cars, jewelry and multiple cosmetic surgeries for his girlfriend."
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Verizon Tech Given 4-year Federal Prison Sentence For $4.5M Equipment Scam

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2012 @03:43PM (#41552377)

    You don't know anything about federal prison. Some of them can be brutal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2012 @04:16PM (#41552699)

    I've heard the argument made and I disagree. Yes, threatening someone with a weapon causes some very real emotional distress, but of the people I know have been through a robbery in most cases it was so quick that beyond the initial moment of shock it's not something that affects their day to day lives. These "harmless" white collar crimes that involve millions of dollars have the power not only to affect far more than just one person, but to put them through years of anguish. One robbery might scare a clerk shitless for 10 minutes, one mortgage scammer can affect thousands of people, destroy their health, end their marriages, and put their families on the street without ever seeing the victim face to face. At least most robberies are committed out of desperation rather than a sense of greed and entitlement.

  • by JRHelgeson (576325) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @04:17PM (#41552705) Homepage Journal

    Verizon has been targeted many times. They would steal network equipment, then call Cisco to get an advance replacement RMA, which would take their stolen equipment and double it. Then they would sell the gear on the 'Grey Market' for Cisco hardware. They focused primarily on Cisco 12000 line cards, where an individual card sells for $100k+ and are installed in a redundant fashion.

    Then they started just getting serial numbers for equipment and starting RMA's for that, and selling it on the Grey market. When Cisco called to get the status on the return... Verizon would reply with "what return".

    I helped track one of these cats back in early 2000's - once he found we were hot on his trail, he abandoned his Bentley, and his Mansion and fled back home to Russia - where he lives currently. Interestingly, this same type of scam popped up in eastern Europe shortly after his relocation.

    Our suspect had a friend who worked in security at one of the Verizon data centers. He would grant 'back-door' access to a facility, and permit the theft of the hardware. Stories abound of this guy being too poor to buy gas one day, borrowing $50 from friends in order to make to to the airport to fly out to New York then from New York to California, then California back home - pulling a massive roll of C notes from his pocket and repaying the $50 loan + a couple of C-notes to show his gratitude.

    Perhaps the reason we hear about this happening with Verizon was that they became aware of the scam early, then kept tracking the perps until they were finally able to catch them. Kudos to Verizon Security for being able to close the loop on this one. These cases are extremely hard to track and crack.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/27/nyregion/27theft.html?_r=2&ex=1152936000&en=28ee4e10417b8e50&ei=5070&oref=login [nytimes.com]

    http://www.zdnet.com/level-3-falls-victim-to-data-centre-robbery-3039284520/ [zdnet.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2012 @04:56PM (#41553061)

    It's easy to see at the extremes.

    Imagine a world with twice as much property theft and zero violence. Imagine a world with twice the violence and zero property theft.

    Which would you rather live in?

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

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