US man sentenced for hacking POS systems at Subway

A former Subway franchise owner will spend time in prison for hacking into computerized cash registers he sold to the sandwich restaurant chain and obtaining more than US$40,000 in gift cards.

U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns sentenced Shahin Abdollahi, also known as Sean Holdt, 46, of Lake Elsinore, California, to 18 months in prison. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $34,700 in restitution. Sentencing was Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Abdollahi pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.

Abdollahi owned Subway franchises in Southern California, and later operated a California company called POS Doctor, which sold and installed point-of-sale computer systems to Subway franchises around the country, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.

Beginning in 2011, Abdollahi and Jeffrey Wilkinson remotely hacked into the POS systems he installed in Subway franchises, according to Abdollahi’s guilty plea. They hacked into 13 Subway POS systems and added more than $40,000 to Subway gift cards, the DOJ said.

Abdollahi and Wilkinson used the fraudulent gift cards to make purchases at Subway, and Wilkinson also sold fraudulent gift cards on eBay and Craigslist, the DOJ said, citing Abdollahi’s guilty plea.

Wilkinson, 37, of Rialto, California, pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme, and was sentenced to six months in prison in May.

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