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Men Plead Not Guilty in Cell Phone Scheme

The two pocketed an estimated $25 million by illegally manipulating phones so they could be used on any network.

I Phone

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men have pleaded not guilty in California to federal charges alleging they devised a $25 million scheme to illegally unlock cellphones so they could be used on any carrier's network.

U.S. prosecutors said Monday that Argishti Khudaverdyan, 41, of Burbank and Alen Gharehbagloo, 40, of La Cañada Flintridge formerly owned a T-Mobile retail store and used stolen employee credentials to infiltrate the company's internal computer systems.

They were arrested following a 21-count grand jury indictment and charged with wire fraud, money laundering and other counts. They were later released on bond. Investigators say the scheme brought the men more than $25 million when people paid them to get out of their T-Mobile service.

If convicted of all counts, each defendant could face sentences exceeding 200 years.

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