Inmates charged in phone fraud scam

Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 7:45 p.m. MST

Tina Feve Deluna

Davis County Jail,

FARMINGTON — As the saying goes, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Case in point: A group of Davis County Jail inmates face felony charges in connection with an elaborate scheme to steal the names, Social Security numbers and other personal identification information of various unwitting victims.

The group used the information to open telephone accounts in the name of the victims and had the phone numbers assigned to those accounts, running up charges of more than $5,000, according to charges filed Friday in 2nd District Court.

According to court documents, the defendants — Michael Rivera, 32; Nikkol Juanita Guajardo, 31; Aurora Flores, 24; Frances Nicole Ramirez, 25; Eric William Naia Kamahele, 25; Brandie Lyn Suiter, 20; and Tina Feve Deluna, 31 — conspired to establish a telephone account in a victim's name so they could all have calls made to that number forwarded to telephone numbers assigned to one of the defendants who was serving time at the Davis County Jail, their friends or relatives.

Court documents explained that all outgoing calls made by inmates are made collect. If an inmate places a call, the person receiving the call has the option of accepting or rejecting the call. Once the defendants established the account, they would place calls to that number in one of the victim's names, then the call would be transferred to a friend or relative of the defendant.

When the charges were accepted, the cost of the call would be assigned to the account of the victim. Each defendant faces felony counts of communications fraud, pattern of illegal activity and identity fraud, according to the charges.

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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