A federal court indicted a business owner from Charlotte, NC Thursday for selling stolen iPhones overseas. Facing four counts of transportation of stolen goods, the man allegedly sold hundreds of fraudulently obtained iPhones and other devices to international buyers.
An Independent Wireless Store Known to Ask No Questions
The man, 45-year-old Rami Mahmod Mhana, owned Wireless City Fashions Inc. Local “boosters,” people who steal goods and sell them for a profit, knew the business well. They knew it as a haven for selling goods.
Between May 2017 and October 2019 Mhana’s business allegedly purchased hundreds of fraudulently obtained iPhones and other electronic devices. Mhana provided his store’s employees a price list of what he was willing to pay for various devices, favoring new or unlocked devices. Officials say the shop purchased these devices with no questions asked.
Selling Stolen iPhones and More to UAE and Hong Kong
In the case, Mhana stands accused of selling thousands of dollars in stolen iPhones and other devices to overseas buyers. The court accused him of selling and shipping the goods to the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.
The indictment alleges Mhana “knew these devices were stolen or was willfully blind to the fact.” If convicted, the business owner faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of transportation of stolen goods.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and the United States Secret Service investigated the case. Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, announced the indictment.
Reginald DeMatteis, Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service’s Charlotte Field Office, and CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings joined King in the announcement. This indictment comes as yet another instance of people selling fraudulently-obtained iPhones for a profit. A Chinese national living in Virginia was recently sentenced to 12 months in prison for selling fraudulently-obtained iPhones overseas. The ringleader of that scheme was sentenced to 26 months prison time.