August 18, 2022

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A federal jury in North Carolina found a 40-year-old former sales consultant at AT&T guilty...

A federal jury in North Carolina found a 40-year-old former sales consultant at AT&T guilty of using his position to open new accounts with stolen identities — all to sell expensive phones on the black market, prosecutors said.

Alejandro Garlynn Williams was found guilty on 21 counts of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft on Friday, Dec. 10, after a five-day trial in the Eastern District of North Carolina, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. The verdict comes six months after Williams’ co-conspirator, Anthony Jamison, pleaded guilty to his role in the alleged fraud.

Williams could not be reached for comment, and a defense attorney appointed to represent him did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment.

A representative from AT&T also did not immediately respond.

Williams started working at an AT&T store on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 2016, the government said. Fayetteville is about 60 miles south of Raleigh.

His job description reportedly included selling cellphones to new customers and activating new customer accounts.

Williams was introduced to Jamison — who lived about 60 miles west of Fayetteville in Hamlet, North Carolina — in October 2017, according to the release. Together, the pair is accused of concocting a scheme to defraud AT&T using the stolen personal information of “unwitting victims.”

The alleged scheme lasted from shortly after Williams and Jamison met until January 2018.

Prosecutors said Jamison passed the personal identifying information, which included Social Security numbers and dates of birth, to Williams and then sent “recruits” to the AT&T store to meet with him. Those recruits acted like customers in front of the surveillance cameras, allowing Williams to open new customer accounts without suspicion, the government said.

“Williams would use the stolen victim PII to run hard credit checks, activate lines of service in the victims’ names, and, ultimately, issue cellphones to the ‘customer’ for resale by Jamison,” prosecutors said in the release.

The phones Williams ordered “required little or no payment” up front, according to the government, but the victims whose personal information was used were required to make future payments. Prosecutors said many victims didn’t find out about the fraud until AT&T bills arrived in the mail.

Williams was accused of using a single stolen identity to sometimes purchase multiple phones. On one occasion, the government said, he bought nine iPhones using one victim’s information from North Carolina.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the pair cost AT&T more than $85,000 in losses.

A grand jury indicted Williams and Jamison in December 2020, and Jamison pleaded guilty in June. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 7, court filings show.

A sentencing date for Williams has not been set.

Hayley Fowler is a reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking and real-time news across North and South Carolina. She has a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and previously worked as a legal reporter in New York City before joining the Observer in 2019.

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