Two Sentenced for Identity Theft Scheme Targeting Comcast and Charter Customers

Prison© tadah from Pixabay / Canva

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Estifany Herrera Cedano, 45, of Yonkers, NY, and Johnny Israel Ramos Castillo, 31, of the Dominican Republic, were sentenced this week for impersonating over 150 customers of Comcast and Charter in a fraudulent scheme to obtain iPhones and iPads through identity theft. United States District Judge Juan R. Sánchez handed down the sentences.

Herrera Cedano received 81 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay restitution of $347,666.07 to Comcast and $245,697.76 to Charter. Ramos Castillo was sentenced to 54 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay restitution of $50,327.19 to Comcast and $217,948.01 to Charter.

Between 2019 and 2020, the duo orchestrated a sophisticated operation. They obtained stolen identities and account information from a source in the Dominican Republic. Using these details, they entered Comcast Xfinity and Charter Spectrum retail stores across the country. They presented fabricated photo identifications bearing their photos but with the customers’ information. By doing so, they signed up for mobile services in the names of unsuspecting customers and obtained smartphones and related devices on credit. The fraudulent activity only became apparent to the real customers when they received their monthly bills.

Law enforcement identified over 560 mobile devices stolen through this multi-state scheme, resulting in actual losses of $593,363.83. Surveillance video, along with financial, phone, and sales transaction records, helped identify Herrera Cedano and Ramos Castillo.

Comcast and Charter eliminated the fraudulent charges against the individual accounts. The corporations absorbed the financial losses, protecting the affected customers from bearing the burden.

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The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations – Harrisburg/York and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samuel S. Dalke.

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