The former co-owner of the store Top Tier Solutions Inc (which provided services from the communications provider T-Mobile) was caught in a smartphone unlocking scheme. Argishti Khudaverdyan, a 44-year-old resident of Los Angeles, illegally obtained access to the necessary resources for unlocking smartphones of various networks, which allowed him to enrich himself by $25 million between August 2014 and June 2019.
During this time, the man used various techniques to obtain the credentials of more than 50 employees (phishing, social engineering, etc.), with the help of which he managed to unlock “hundreds of thousands of devices.” It is about blocking smartphones for use exclusively by the installed operator, as well as about lost or stolen devices.
Another co-owner of the store, Alen Gharehbagloo, is also mentioned in the case. The scheme allowed men to earn good money. They have a leased Mercedes S63 AMG and a Ferrari 458. Khudaverdyan also owns real estate in California (several houses), a Land Rover, an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch ($32,000), and a Rolex Sky-Dweller (~$15,000).
Argishti Khudaverdyan was found guilty of the offenses committed. The sentencing will take place on October 17. There, he can receive a total of up to 165 years in prison for illegal activities. Alen Gharehbagloo was also found guilty on three articles, he will receive the final sentence on December 5.
And these are not isolated cases. Last year, Muhammad Fahd was sentenced to 12 years for unlocking two million AT&T smartphones, and Gary Bowser was sentenced to more than three years and must pay a $10 million fine for participating in the distribution of Nintendo Switch mods.