James Hopkins stole over 900 phones and other devices from Verizon Wireless and sold them for quick cash while he worked at the company as a business account executive. Now he's going to jail for mail fraud. Hopkins, who earned $272,290 through the constant and prolonged thievery, was sentenced to 27 months in prison at a New Jersey US District Court this week. Hopkins worked under the telecom giant at an office in Pennsylvania.
"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," US Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement Tuesday. After placing the false orders, Hopkins had them rerouted to a relative living in Jersey. To hide his tracks, he then "manipulated Verizon’s computer database to conceal the fraudulent orders and shipments." Hopkins listed each and every stolen item on eBay.
Eventually the US Postal Inspection Service caught on and launched an investigation that ultimately brought his scheme down. Once his prison term is complete, Hopkins will also need to serve two years of supervised release, pay $303,623 in restitution, and forfeit the entire $272,290 that he reaped through illegal means.