CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) — A Charleston County man has pleaded guilty to 20 counts of wire fraud after pocketing nearly $3 million through fake companies. 

United States Department of Justice has sentenced businessman Amir Golestan to 5 years in federal prison.  

“Like many corporate wrongdoers, Amir Golestan tried to obscure his criminal conduct by using fake companies and complex transactions,” U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs said. 

An FBI investigation revealed the 40-year-old created fraudulent companies to sell IPv4 addresses on a secondary market. 

The Department of Justice defines IPv4 addresses as numerical labels assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the Internet for communication.   

Evidence presented in court showed that Golestan operated a company, Micfo, LLC, that provided hosting services and website services. 

As part of its business, Micfo applied and registered for IPv4 addresses through the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), a nonprofit organization that administers IP address rights in the United States, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean.  

To get an IP address allocation from ARIN, a company must provide a need-based justification.   

The Attorney General’s Office says after Micfo no longer qualified for provided IPv4 addresses based on ARIN’s policies and procedures, Golestan created fake companies.  

Golestan referred to these companies as “Channel Partners.”  

Through the “Channel Partners,” Golestan made bogus representations to ARIN, and ARIN relied on those misrepresentations in granting the “Channel Partners” rights to IPv4 addresses.  

Documents show Golestan made over $3 million by selling rights to those IPv4 addresses on the secondary market.  

Golestan was sentenced to 60 months in prison, to be followed by a 2-year term of court-ordered supervision. 

The court also ordered restitution be paid to ARIN in the amount of $76,978.25. 

This case was investigated by the FBI.