7 from Michigan charged in multi-state $28 million iPhone fraud scheme

Seven people are accused of running an iPhone fraud scheme for more than two years, according to court records.

Emmanuel Luter, 31; Joseph Ingram, 31; Dalontae Davis, 31; Donnell Taylor, 30; Dominique Barnes, 33; Delano Bush, 32, and Joshua Motley, 33, are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from the $28 million cellphone upgrade fraud scheme.

Motley is from Detroit, while Taylor, Barnes, and Bush are from Southfield. Luter and Ingram are from Southfield but now live in Atlanta, and Barnes, formerly of Southfield, lives in Texas.

According to court records, the group went by the name the "Clear Gods" as they used other people's personal information to obtain iPhones. Federal officials said they would buy personal information online, and use it to open AT&T accounts.

The scammers are accused of adding themselves as "authorized users" on the accounts, so they could upgrade the service lines at Apple stores. 

They are also accused of gaining access to AT&T computer systems by stealing RSA tokens and employee IDs, so they could impersonate employees. They then allegedly began swapping broken tablets with AT&T tablets, and stealing computer towers from AT&T stores. Corrupt employees allegedly helped with this scheme.

This went on from as early as June 2017 and through at least September 2019, and they allegedly completed more than 26,000 fraudulent transactions, resulting in a loss of more than $28 million dollars.

"HSI with our law enforcement partners persevered to unravel the sophisticated scheme which ultimately led to this indictment," said Special Agent in Charge of HSI Detroit Angie Salazar. "These types of crimes are often mislabeled as victimless, which could not be farther from the truth. Oftentimes victims of fraud are required to spend many years clearing up financial issues and fixing incorrect personal identifying information caused solely by the greed of these criminals. HSI will continue to investigate those criminals who seek to exploit the trade, travel, or finance of the United States."