According to the indictment and documents filed in court, from at least 2006 through 2014, JAMAL MUSTAFA directed the Organization to use stolen identity information to obtain cellular telephones and other mobile devices for the purpose of trafficking them throughout the United States and internationally. JAMAL MUSTAFA, KANAN MUSTAFA, NASER MUSTAFA, EDWAN MUSTAFA, NIZER MUSTAFA, BILAL MUSTAFA, TALAL MUSTAFA, and MOISES NAVARRO-CAZALES, owned and operated 13 mobile device stores in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Organization used these storefronts to buy devices that they knew had been illegally obtained, including purchasing thousands of cellular phones from runners and other persons who got the phones through robberies, burglaries, shoplifting, and fraud and identity-theft schemes.
With the assistance of AHMED SUNOQROT, the Organization moved inventory and money between their stores, which the Organization used as fronts to funnel the illicit proceeds of their criminal activity.
According to the indictment, the Organization paid runners who stole mobile devices or obtained them fraudulently by other means. CEDRIC CHAPPELL, DEANTRE-RICKEY-RENE SQUALLS, BLANYON TOE DAVIES, VICTOR TOMBEKAI DOE, YOLANDA COOMBS, CASWANA MILES, TIARA LIGON, MARQUIS TERELL MAGGIESFIELD, MARCUS PHILLIP COLEMAN, ROBERT RICHARD COLEMAN, and DANIELLE YVONNE COLEMAN, were each paid by the Mustafas to steal or fraudulently obtain mobile devices by contract or subscription fraud. They targeted stores like Best Buy, WalMart, Verizon outlets, T-Mobile stores, and online Apple stores.
As charged, various members of the Mustafa Family provided stolen or fraudulent identity information to the runners, including names, dates of birth, social security numbers, credit card numbers, passport information, and driver’s license numbers of victims. Some of the runners operated solely within Minnesota, while others travelled to Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Utah to obtain devices. The Organization arranged out-of-state travel for the runners and paid their expenses. One runner was arrested in Utah in 2013 with more than 80 counterfeit identification documents and genuine victim-information documents. This runner used those documents to open lines of credit at various retail outlets to make fraudulent device purchases.
The runners were instructed by the Mustafas to obtain phones by contract-fraud and subscription-fraud schemes. In such schemes, runners used real stolen identities to obtain cell phone contracts. At times, the runners obtained “family plans” or “business accounts.” In so doing, runners were sold phones at deeply discounted prices by the legitimate retailers. The full retail price of an iPhone 5s in the United States is approximately $648. Under a two-year contract, the same phone is sold for approximately $200. Runners then opened accounts entitling them to obtain as few as one discounted phone, and as many as 30. The runners then shipped or delivered the phones back to the Mustafas, via one of the thirteen Twin Cities storefronts, or shipped the phones to wholesalers in other states for sale overseas. A new iPhone 5s retails for between $1,000 and $1,200 overseas.
Other runners engaged in street-level violence or burglary to obtain phones. The Sunrise Group, a burglary ring that traveled throughout the Upper Midwest for the purpose of breaking into WalMart stores to steal cell phones, iPads, and other electronic devices, provided electronic devices to the Mustafa Family on several occasions. The Mustafa Family made requests of the Sunrise Group for large quantities of new phones, and would act as a fence for the stolen merchandise.
- JAMAL TALAL MUSTAFA, a/k/a “Jimmy,” D.O.B. 6/17/1972 Apple Valley, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- KANAN M T MUSTAFA, a/k/a “Kenny,” D.O.B. 6/16/1977 Rosemount, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- NASER MOHAMAD MUSTAFA, a/k/a “Nasty Nas,” D.O.B. 1/6/1991 Rosemount, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- EDWAN T MUSTAFA, a/k/a “Eddy,” D.O.B. 11/14/1974 Apple Valley, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- NIZER M MUSTAFA, a/k/a “Shaggy,” a/k/a “Mike,” D.O.B. 8/27/1978 Savage, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- BILAL MUHAMMED MUSTAFA, a/k/a “Billy,” D.O.B. 6/25/1984 Minneapolis, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- TALAL M MUSTAFA, a/k/a “Tommy,” D.O.B. 4/19/1971 Burnsville, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- MOISES NAVARRO CAZALES, D.O.B. 11/15/1992 Bloomington, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
- AHMED RD SUNOQROT, a/k/a “Abu Shanab,” D.O.B. 6/2/1955 St. Paul, MN Charges: Conspiracy to Engage in Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods, 1 count
Read it all for more info and defendants.
I find the FBI press release leaves a lot of questions hanging. The Star Tribune story by Paul McEnroe does likewise.
Having found a fertile source of cell phones on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, the Mustafa family victimized a lot of Minnesotans. And that’s not all! It appears to me that the indictment leading to yesterday’s roundup will be amended to add to the catalogue of crimes these people committed far and wide over “at least” an eight-year period…