MIL-OSI Security: Former Telecommunications Company Manager Admits Role in SIM Swapping Scheme

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Source: Office of United States Attorneys

CAMDEN, N.J. – A former manager of a telecommunications company from Burlington County, New Jersey, admitted swapping the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) numbers of cell phone customers into mobile devices controlled by another individual, who was paying the former manager for the unauthorized swaps, Attorney for the United States Vikas Khanna announced today.

Jonathan Katz, aka “Luna,” 42, of Marlton, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court on March 12, 2024, to an information charging Katz with conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a protected computer.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In May 2021, Katz was employed as a manager at a telecommunications store and accessed several customer accounts by using managerial credentials. Katz swapped the SIM numbers associated with the customers’ phone numbers into mobile devices controlled by another individual, enabling this other individual to control the customers’ phones and access the customers’ electronic accounts – including email, social media, and cryptocurrency accounts. In exchange for the swaps, Katz was paid in Bitcoin, which was traced back to Katz’s cryptocurrency account.

The conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a computer offense carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and a fine of not more than $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss involved, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for July 16, 2024.

Attorney for the United States Khanna credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea. 

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dong Joo Lee of the U.S. Attorney’s Cybercrime Unit.

MIL Security OSI