Ocala Man Convicted Of Wire Fraud In Relation To Resale Of Wireless Communications Plans

GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – A federal jury in Gainesville has convicted Justin Lewis, 38, of Ocala, Florida of six counts of wire fraud. The guilty verdict, returned Tuesday, at the conclusion of a five-day trial, was announced by Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Evidence introduced at trial revealed that between September 2015, and February 2018, Lewis engaged in a scheme to defraud a wireless carrier by obtaining unlimited cellular data lines through fraudulent means and reselling them to the public for a 1500% mark-up. During most of this time-period, unlimited plans were not widely available to the public. When his actions were discovered, Lewis made false representations to the carrier, created new companies in other people’s names, and submitted altered documentation to conceal his activities. Finally, he used a technique to manipulate the carrier’s customer website portal to obtain unlimited data for free through accounts he had opened in other people’s names.

“Notwithstanding the size of the corporation, fraud schemes harm companies and their customers,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. “The deceptive, persistent, and sophisticated acts employed by this defendant demonstrate the danger posed to both corporations and their consumers. With the assistance of our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who engage in acts of corporate fraud.”

“This case is an example of the FBI’s relentless effort to protect American companies and their customers,” said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.  “When individuals defraud corporations, it is ultimately us – the corporation’s customers – who pay the price. The FBI remains committed to pursuing investigations into corporate fraud in an effort to protect consumers from bearing the costs associated with criminal activity.”

Lewis’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 26, 2021, at 10:00 am at the United States Courthouse in Gainesville before the Honorable United States District Judge Allen Winsor.  Lewis faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud offenses.

This conviction was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorneys Gary Milligan and David Byron prosecuted the case. 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

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