9 Indicted in Cellphone Trafficking Scheme
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Nine Twin Cities area people have been indicted in a multimillion dollar cellphone trafficking scheme.
The indictments made public Thursday say homeless people were recruited to buy the cellphones using stolen identities and then sign up for a service plan that gave them the phone at a reduced cost. Authorities say the phones were shipped to Hong Kong and sold on the street for as much as $2,000.
The indictment says conspirators used a Target employee to make sure the stolen identity would pass a credit check.
The seven men and two women are accused of trafficking in at least $3.8 million in stolen phones. The nine were released on an unsecured bond of $25,000 following appearances in federal court Thursday.
The indictment says the conspiracy started in about 2011 and continued until about 2014.