LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A man who once co-owned a T-Mobile store in Eagle Rock was convicted in October of running a $25 million scheme to illegally infiltrate the company’s internal computer systems by stealing T-Mobile employee credentials. to unlock their cell phones.
Argishti Khudaverdyan, 44, of Burbank was convicted late Friday of multiple felonies, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, computer access to defraud and obtaining value, knowingly accessing a computer without permission to possess information, money laundering and aggravated identity theft; according to the US Attorney’s Office.
The indictment, filed in Los Angeles federal court, alleges the forfeiture of more than $2.25 million in ill-gotten gains from several bank accounts and residential properties.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson’s Oct. 17 sentencing hearing, at which time Khudaverdyan will face more than 75 years in federal prison.
A co-defendant, Alen Gharehbagloo, 43, of La Canada Flintridge, pleaded guilty in the case and is awaiting sentencing.
Two customers were falsely told that T-Mobile gave them the power to unlock their devices so they could be used on a particular carrier’s network. In fact, T-Mobile and other carriers sell older devices that only work on their networks until customers’ “purchase and service contracts are fulfilled.”
Khudaverdyan and Gharehbagloo advertised their unlocking services online and through email solicitations and reports. They also reactivate cell phones that have been stolen or reported stolen, according to the four-day trial.
Between August 2014 and January 2019, the defendants advertised their unlocking services through brokers, email solicitations and websites.
Testimony showed that in order to gain unauthorized access to T-Mobile’s secure internal computers, Khudaverdyan obtained the credentials of company employees through phishing emails that appeared to be legitimate T-Mobile correspondence.
From January to June 2017, Khudaverdyan and Gharehbagloo co-owned the T-mobile store franchise in Eagle Rock Plaza.
Investigators determined that Khudaverdyan and Gharehbagloo used the money sought by the scheme to pay off, among other things, properties in Burbank, Northridge and La Canada Flintridge, according to the indictment.