May 16, 2014
In a federal Indictment that was unsealed on March 15, 2013, in Boston, MA, federal prosecutors alleged that in 2011, Shahin Abdollahi, aka "Sean Holdt," 46, of Lake Elsinore, CA, and Jeffrey Thomas Wilkinson, 35, of Rialto, CA, conspired to remotely hack into point-of-sale ("POS") systems in Subway restaurant franchises around the country; and, in fact, the pair apparently managed to hack into at least 13 Subway POS systems. These systems allow merchants to manage customer purchases made by credit, debit and gift cards.
The Indictment alleges that from 2005 to 2008, Abdollahi owned a number of Southern California Subway franchises. Also, Abdollahi operated a business called "POS Doctor." In fact, it turns out that POS Doctor sold and installed POS systems to Subway restaurant franchises in the good old USA. My, how convenient that relationship between the restaurants and the POS Doctor must have been for Adbollahi and Wilkinson.
Just what did this sandwich franchise hacking conspiracy achieve with all this high-tech crap? Apparently the conspirators fraudulently added at least $40,000 in value to Subway gift cards, which they then used to make purchases at Subway (and Wilkinson is further charged with selling fraudulent gift cards over eBay and Craigslist.)
Abdollahi and Wilkinson were both charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud.
Wilkinson pleaded guilty on Feb. 27, 2014.
On May 14, Abdollahi pleaded guilty in the District of Massachusetts to one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.