The exchange of fake iPhones and iPads for real ones caused a loss of $ 6.1 million for Apple. The company was the target of yet another scheme in which fake customers called the guarantee by saying that their phones and tablets were not working.
The crime would have involved 14 people, who on Wednesday (13) started to be formally accused by the Department of Justice from United States. According to investigations, the group managed to exchange 10,000 fake devices for real ones at Apple stores in the U.S. and Canada.
The fake iPhones and iPads were intentionally damaged to force the company to change them. In addition, the group used serial numbers and IMEI of real models purchased by others. The devices offered by the manufacturer were resold in countries like China.
Of the 14 suspects, 11 suspects have been arrested and 3 are at large. On Wednesday, investigators carried out 11 search warrants and seized about $ 250,000 in cash and 90 iPhones, which are being analyzed to determine their authenticity.
The group is being accused of crimes such as fraud, conspiracy and money laundering. Each has a maximum sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $ 12.2 million, twice the loss estimated by Apple.
Exchange of iPhones has already led to a loss of $ 900 thousand
This is not the first time anyone has profited from exchanging fake iPhones for real ones. Between January 2016 and February 2018, a Chinese student living in Oregon, in the United States, managed to exchange 1,493 devices.
Apple estimated a $ 900,000 loss from the coup. The student pleaded guilty in April 2019 and was sentenced to three years and a month in a federal penitentiary (the maximum sentence was 10 years), plus a $ 200,000 fine to Apple.
With information: CNET.