Man Sentenced to Prison for Cell Phone Trade-in Fraud Scheme

David Shemtov, a 31-year-old from Los Angeles, California, has been sentenced to three years and one month in prison after being convicted of wire fraud. This conviction stems from a scheme involving fraudulent trade-ins of thousands of cell phones.

Shemtov devised a method to deceive a cell phone trade-in company over the course of a year-long fraud scheme. He manipulated the trade-in process to obtain inflated value for devices he traded, causing substantial financial loss to the victim company.

To perpetrate the scheme, Shemtov utilized false names, adjusted phone settings, and remotely unlocked devices. He exploited a feature of the trade-in program that allowed manipulation of phone model and value. This led to the victim company overpaying for devices, such as claiming iPhone 6s as iPhone XS Max, resulting in an overpayment exceeding $450,000.

Shemtov was found guilty by a jury on November 20, 2023. He has been sentenced to prison, followed by supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution totaling $532,542, along with a $100,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan and FBI Atlanta Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sean Burke emphasized that Shemtov’s sentence serves as a warning against fraudulent activities, asserting that perpetrators will be prosecuted.