Cellphone scheme nets felony charges for Newton County man

A Newton County man has been arrested on 14 felony warrants in connection to a fraudulent cellphone acquisition scheme.

Andrew Anthony Hoilett, 35, of Covington was arrested and charged with three counts of insurance fraud, three counts of identity fraud, three counts of forgery, three counts of financial transaction card fraud and two counts of theft by receiving, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced Thursday.

An investigation by the fraud unit revealed that Hoilett on multiple occasions accessed the Asurion Insurance Company’s website using other users’ account information and filed fraudulent insurance claims for lost or damaged phones, authorities said. He allegedly would track shipments of devices to his victims’ homes and either intercept packages from delivery drivers or remove them directly from doorsteps.

Possible victims have been identified thus far in Bibb, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Terrell, Walton and Ware counties. Hudgens said his office could be looking at as many as 162 additional victims across the state, and additional felony charges are expected.

Hoilett on Thursday was in the Newton County Jail awaiting transfer to the DeKalb County Jail. The Newton County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the arrest.