By Brad Segall
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The man who prosecutors say was the ringleader in a scam that ripped off Comcast for nearly $2.5-million (see related story) has admitted his role in the crime in a Montgomery County courtroom.
Alston Buchanan pleaded guilty to a long list of charges, including corrupt organizations, theft of services and unlawful use of a computer.
Prosecutors say the 30-year-old northeast Philadelphia man employed more than two dozen people who would recruit Comcast customers who would pay an upfront fee to have Buchanan plug-in promo codes on their accounts to lower their bills.
“It unraveled when one of his recruiters attempted to solicit a Comcast employee who turned him in to internal security and they did an undercover investigation,” says Prosecutor Jeremy Lupo.
Lupo says Buchanan is facing several years behind bars:
“We’re going to be looking for a long state sentence for Mr. Buchanan and we’re doing that because he was hacking into Comcast’s internal system putting at jeopardy the security of Comcast as well as becoming filthy rich from this scheme.”
Lupo says Buchanan was a former Comcast employee familiar with how the system worked. He says he pocketed more than $300,000 in just over a year by altering nearly 6,000 accounts throughout the Philadelphia region.