UPDATE: T-Mobile is continuing to investigate, but early results show that Sarah Phillips and Nilesh Prasad may have been employed by a third-party dealer, rather than T-Mobile. If Phillips and Prasad were employed by a third party, T-Mobile will likely not have any employment records, and will not be able to provide any information about the allegations.
Reports are circulating that fired ESPN sports gambling columnist Sarah Philips and partner Nilesh Prasad were involved in an alleged fraud scheme involving T-Mobile.
IBTimes spoke with a T-Mobile media relations representative earlier who informed us that the company was not aware of the current allegations against Sarah Phillips and Nilesh Prasad, but are looking into the situation.
A T-Mobile spokesperson has just released a statement to the IBTimes regarding the Sarah Phillips fraud scandal:
T-Mobile has begun a full internal investigation and will be cooperating and working with law enforcement on this matter, as needed. It is not clear yet whether either of these individuals are employed directly by T-Mobile. We cannot provide additional comments while our investigation continues.
Phillips was fired from ESPN yesterday following a report from Deadspin.com accusing Phillips and Prasad of fraud and extortion.
The pair allegedly scammed two men, a 19-year-old referred to in reports as Ben, and a 30-something-year-old referred to as Matt.
Deadspin reported that Phillips and Prasad scammed Ben into handing them the administrator rights on his successful NBA memes Facebook page. Ben had made them administrators under the impression that Phillips was hiring him to work on a sports site she was working on.
Matt was reportedly scammed into contributing $2,100 for advertising for Phillips sports site. The victim told Deadspin that Phillips had threatened to send the Los Angeles police department to his home to collect the money.
Following news of her being fired from ESPN, an anonymous email was sent to IBTimes and other news outlets, informing of a reported scam that Phillips and Prasad participated in while working for a T-Mobile premium retailer.
Phillips and Prasad allegedly worked at a T-Mobile location in Corvallis, Oregon, the same town as Oregon State University in which they were both registered. According to the anonymous email, during 2009 and 2010 the pair reportedly devised a way to get exchange students approved for postpaid accounts with T-Mobile even though they had no social security numbers. They would then use these new credit accounts with T-Mobile to activate the student's phone lines. However, they wouldn't just activate the requested lines, but also extra lines. They would then go onto eBay and sell extra lines with discounted phones at discounted prices if people submitted their personal information. They would activate the new customers using the student credit lines and ship the phones.
Two sources confirmed to Deadspin that Phillips and Prasad worked at the T-Mobile location. One source told the site that they found a loop hole, exploited it and ran it till they couldn't keep up.
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Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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