Prosecutors: Group led by Arlington man stole more than 800 cell phones

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Associated Press

Posted on August 15, 2013 at 5:11 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — North Texas prosecutors say a 37-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for serving as the ringleader of a group that stole more than 800 cell phones in a scheme that netted some $1.5 million.

A Tarrant County jury on Wednesday convicted Rashad Elqutob of a theft charge and for engaging in organized crime.

The Arlington man, originally from Kuwait, was an employee of AT&T who acquired a vast inventory of cell phones from AT&T, RadioShack and another company. Other workers stole the phones and then sold them to Elqutob for about 10 percent of their value. Prosecutors say Elqutob then used business fronts to sell them on Ebay and Craigslist.

An investigation was launched when AT&T and RadioShack contacted authorities after discovering a large volume of missing phones.

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