FBI: ISP Tried to Scam $15M Out of AT&T, XO, Others

The FBI has arrested and charged the owner of Core IP Networks, a Dallas-based ISP, with conspiracy to commit fraud.

The feds say Matthew Simpson, 25, of Red Oak, Texas, was part of a 19-person ring that planned to scam AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., XO Communications and other carriers out of more than $15 million. The allegations came after an April 2009 raid on Simpson’s company. In a Google Sites post (click here to read it), Simpson insisted the raid was unwarranted and unfair. The raid kicked dozens of Core IP Networks customers offline.

Now the FBI says Simpson, along with cohorts, set up companies to fraudulently land lines of credit and then resell telecom services before skipping out on the bills, PC World reported. Simpson’s partner, Michael Faulkner, is said to have masterminded the plan. Problem is, it’s not known whether Faulkner is alive. He absconded to Mexico with his wife Chastity and the FBI says there’s evidence he may have been killed trying to cross the border back into the United States.

Simpson allegedly launched shell corporations with fake CEOs, using the identities of homeless people purportedly paid off with $100 in cash and a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20. An e-mail the FBI says was written by Simpson explains how the whole idea worked: “As our clients pre-pay … we can effectively catch up on all our bills, payroll and then some, and launch another profitable endeavor, long before we even get a bill from Verizon,” as PC World reported.

Simpson remains in custody.

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