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The Almighty Buck Crime

Scammers Lower Comcast Bills, Get Jail Time 103

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the no-one-weeps-for-comcast dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news about a scam with a twist. The scammers purchased login details to internal Comcast systems from an employee using them to lower the bills of Comcast customers, for a price. "Alston Buchanan, the mastermind of a two-man scam to lower the bills of Comcast customers for a price, pleaded guilty last week and awaits sentencing. His accomplice, Richard Justin Spraggins, who also pleaded guilty in February, will serve 11-23 months in prison and pay Comcast $66,825. Their operation purportedly cost Comcast $2.4 million, and Comcast claims that the loss has forced them to raise the rates on all their customers. However, the allegedly huge financial loss went undetected until a Comcast customer reported his/her suspicions to Comcast customer service."
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Scammers Lower Comcast Bills, Get Jail Time

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @06:35AM (#46813535)

    His entire point was that you don't have to blindy pay Comcast a single cent, there are alternatives. You could even go without television at all without much difficulty. Food prices are rising faster than television rates, and that isn't something that can be avoided nearly as easily.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @07:15AM (#46813621)

    Apparently you've never been to court. The judge sure as hell doesn't care how much money you have or if you'll ever be able to repay it. I've had a large settlement against a guy since the early 90s (he broke into my house while drunk and destroyed everything I owned at the time.) He sends me about $50/yr because, even 20yrs later he's still a looser and in and out of jail. The only reason he sends me anything is because he's basically constantly on parole and they make it a condition. I could sue him, but that would be an exercise in futility and cost me thousands. But, the point is, when he lost the original case, the judge had no problem fining him for the actual damages, even though there was basically never a way for him to pay it off unless he won the lottery.

  • by Thruen (753567) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @07:45AM (#46813701)
    I believe the $2.4 million number, it does say that 5,790 customers saved an average of $414 which puts it around $2.4 million, and savings like that wouldn't be difficult to achieve over maybe six months time without Comcast noticing the difference. As to the excuse, yeah it's nothing but. They have about 21 million customers, so this cost them a little over a dime per customer. I'm for fining the guys who did it, but jail time is completely ridiculous for how little this affected Comcast, as is suggesting they'd have to charge the rest of us more to make up for it.
  • by raymorris (2726007) on Tuesday April 22, 2014 @09:58AM (#46814527)

    The basic cable rate IS set by the government agency that issues the franchise (legally forced monopoly). That's known as the LFA. Until 1996-1999, the FCC mostly set that rate, now it's primarily set by the LFA.

    During the period of double regulation, 1992-1999, rates increased at 5.6% per year. Once the FCC stepped aside, that was reduced to 4.6%.

    So knowing that having Washington bureaucrats set rates increases them, what reduces rates? Rates are 22%-30% lower in areas with competition.

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