Charlotte: Rami Mahmod Indicted For Selling Stolen iPhones

Charlotte Business Owner, Rami Mahmod Mhana Is Indicted For Selling Stolen iPhones Overseas

CHARLOTTE, N.C (STL.News) A Charlotte business owner is facing federal charges for allegedly selling stolen Apple iPhones (iPhones) and other electronic devices overseas, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A federal criminal indictment charges Rami Mahmod Mhana, 45, of Charlotte, with four counts of transportation of stolen goods.

Reginald DeMatteis, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service (USSS), Charlotte Field Office, and Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to allegations contained in the indictment, Mhana was the owner of Wireless City Fashions, Inc. (Wireless City) and Protocol Business Group Inc. (Protocol), located at 441 Bradford Drive in Charlotte. The indictment alleges that, from at least May 2017 through October 2019, Mhana purchased hundreds of fraudulently obtained iPhones and other electronic devices which he sold and shipped overseas to the United Arab Emirates (the U.A.E.) and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (Hong Kong). The indictment also alleges that Mhana knew these devices were stolen or was willfully blind to the fact.

As alleged in the indictment, Mhana obtained the stolen devices from multiple “boosters.” A booster is a person who steals goods and products and sells them for profit. The indictment further alleges that Wireless City and Protocol were known to boosters as places they could sell stolen devices for cash with no questions asked. Mhana allegedly provided his employees with a price list of how much they should pay for certain iPhones and other electronic devices, but generally Mhana paid more for new or unlocked devices. Over the course of the scheme, Mhana allegedly sold thousands of dollars in stolen iPhones and devices to overseas buyers.

Mhana will be ordered to appear on a summons for his initial appearance, which will be scheduled in federal court in Charlotte. If convicted, Mhana faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of transportation of stolen goods.

The charges contained in the indictment are allegations and the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was the result of the investigative efforts of CMPD and the Secret Service, which have established a fully integrated partnership to combat the most significant organized criminal groups operating in Charlotte.  Through this partnership, this unit has successfully leveraged local and federal resources, personnel, expertise and authorities to identify and combat the criminals and criminal organizations that have the largest negative impact on the community.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael E. Savage and William Bozin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte are in charge of the prosecution.