The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has raided a Dallas collocation facility, investigating a fraud in which telecommunication giants AT&T and Verizon Communications were duped into providing more than 120 million minutes of telephone service to criminals, the FBI claims.
Following a twisted trail of dummy corporations, post-office-box addresses, and bogus phone numbers, the FBI investigation centers on two Texas companies: Premier Voice and Lone Star Power. Individuals associated with these companies submitted "false/fraudulent credit information and other false representations" to access the telephone services, which they allegedly resold to their own customers for $0.01 per minute over a nearly four-month period, according to an affidavit signed by FBI Agent Allyn Lynd.
Four suspects are identified in a March 11 affidavit, which was made public Tuesday. They are Michael Faulkner, Brian Haney, Nathan Shafer and Michael Bowden, all of Texas. "All four of these individuals had numerous criminal charges associated with them, including various frauds, interfering with law enforcement officials, violent crimes, and illegal possession of weapons charges," Lynd wrote.
Citing an unidentified witness, Lynd said that Faulkner was also involved in spamming and selling pirated software under the pseudonym CygonX.
Premier Voice has been the subject of numerous complaints in online forums, Lynd wrote.
The FBI raided servers at a Telx collocation facility at 2323 Bryan St. in Dallas last Thursday, but the reason for the raid was not disclosed until the FBI's search-warrant request was made public.
Last week, a man claiming to be Matthew Simpson, the CEO of Core IP Networks, said that the raid had knocked his hosting company, along with about 50 of his customers, offline. Simpson, who did not reply to numerous requests for comment on this story, said that the raid had to do with the activities of a former customer.
The target of the search was Faulkner's equipment, Lynd wrote.
News of the alleged scam was first reported Tuesday by DSL Reports.