Miami woman pleads guilty in scheme to defraud Verizon


Date: January 14, 2022


PITTSBURGH — A resident of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

Daphne Debrosse pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Scott Hardy.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that over the course of two years Debrosse's boyfriend, Samuel Johnson, was able to fraudulently obtain in excess of 1,500 new, in-box cellular devices and resell them on the illicit market. Through various means, Johnson was able to compromise existing Verizon accounts and charge the devices to them. Afterwards, arrangements were made to have the purloined devices shipped to various Apple Stores and other third-party vendors. Johnson, Debrosse, and others would then retrieve the devices from the vendors and resell them. In order to conceal the illicit source of the money Johnson made from selling the devices, he and Debrosse engaged in currency structuring. When the couple's apartment was searched, federal agents recovered $619,184.00 in cash and over 50 pieces of jewelry and high-end wristwatches. Under the terms of her plea agreement, Debrosse agreed to forfeit a Lamborghini Urus; $619,184.00; and 60 pieces of gold and diamond jewelry .

Judge Hardy scheduled sentencing for May 19, 2022. The law provides for a total sentence of 40 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Debrosse's bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael Leo Ivory is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Debrosse.