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Inmate Accused in Mobile Phone Scam

TECHNOLOGY | IN BRIEF

August 12, 2002|Associated Press

An inmate impersonating Hollywood executives from a jail telephone duped Nextel Communications Inc. out of more than 1,000 cell phones for fake movie shoots, prosecutors in White Plains, N.Y., said last week.

James Sabatino, 25, was charged in federal court with making interstate phone calls from the Westchester County Jail to defraud the cell phone company of more than $1 million.

Prosecutors would not say what Sabatino planned to do with the phones, which were sent to various locations, including a Federal Express pickup facility in Manhattan.

Sabatino's lawyer, Joseph Vita, declined to comment.

The complaint said Sabatino used the names of Sony Pictures Entertainment executive Jack Kindberg, Viacom Inc. executive Tom Freston and another movie executive, Clive Calder, when he called Nextel to order phones. Sabatino had been jailed for assaulting a federal officer.

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