The first person ever charged with hacking into Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks and reselling VoIP services was sentenced today to 120 months in prison, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Edwin Andres Pena, 27 transmitted over 10 million minutes of unauthorized phone calls over the victim’s networks.
Pena, a Venezuelan citizen, fled the U.S. after his arrest in 2006 and was later apprehended in Mexico in February 2009. Pena pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit computer hacking and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud in February 2010.
“Theft is theft whether you rob a bank or hack into somebody else’s network and steal their services,” said Fishman.
“Hackers attacking new and emerging technologies should not assume that law enforcement cannot keep up with them, even when they operate from the shadows or from other countries.”
Through this scheme, Pena sold more than 10 million minutes of Internet phone service to unknowing telecom businesses at deeply discounted rates, causing a loss of more than $1.4 million in less than a year. The victimized Newark-based company, which transmits VoIP services for other telecom businesses, was billed for more than 500,000 unauthorized telephone calls routed through its calling network that were “sold” to the defendant’s unwitting customers.