NEWARK, N.J. - A Pennsylvania man was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for misappropriating over 900 cellular telephones, handheld devices and accessories belonging to Verizon Wireless and selling those items online for a profit, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
James Hopkins, 35, of Telford, Pa., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to an information charging him with mail fraud. Judge Walls imposed the sentence in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Hopkins worked as an account executive at a branch office for Verizon Wireless in Trevose, Pa. From February through November 2009, Hopkins placed numerous orders for Verizon Wireless cellular telephones, handheld devices and accessories in the names of existing Verizon Wireless customers without their knowledge. After arranging for the merchandise to be shipped to the home of a relative in New Jersey, the defendant manipulated Verizon’s computer database to conceal the fraudulent orders and shipments. Hopkins received $328,517 worth of stolen Verizon Wireless merchandise, which he sold on eBay for a profit of $272,290.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Hopkins to serve two years of supervised release, ordered him to pay $303,623 in restitution, and forfeit $272,290.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates, for the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph B. Shumofsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crime Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Wayne Powell Esq., Cherry Hill, N.J.