Washington – American telecommunications company AT&T (NYSE: T) has sued three former store employees in the Washington state for illegally stealing an unlocking software and then using it to help people with their contract-bound phones, obtaining monetary benefits.
All smartphones sold by AT&T are locked by the carrier to use an AT&T SIM card. Unlocking allows the owner to use the SIM card of any carrier in the world. The company identified Nguyen Lam, Marc Sapatin and Kyra Evans as the employees who participated in the scheme that unlocked thousands of phones and generated around $20,000 in profits.
Of course the three former employees did not act by their own means, according to Ars Technica, AT&T alleges that a fourth party to the entire affair, Prashant Vira, who owns and operates a company called Swift Unlocks, paid Evans at least $20,000 for her placement and execution of the malware programs.
For the task, it was necessary for Lam, Sapatin and Evans to install malicious software into AT&T store computers that allowed Swift Unlocks to access AT&T machines and get the necessary information to unlock the phones. Then, of course, Swift charged a fee for the service.
The scheme resulted in huge losses for the company as AT&T carriers sell very cheap locked phones and recover the money by selling their network services to their customers. If the network services are not ensured, then the company cannot recoup the losses from cheap phones.
The lawsuit says that the former sales representatives made between $10,000 and $20,000 in profit from Swift Unlocks before the scheme was uncovered. The company launched an investigation after suspicious activity was reported by their bosses.
AT&T is asking for all the lost profits from the sold mobile phones and all of the money earned by the participants in executing the scheme. The lawsuit doesn’t mention criminal fraud, but it could still lead to the arrest of the former employees.
Source: PC World