Two men were convicted in the United States of abusing Apple’s trade-in system to steal original iPhones. The couple will be sentenced to up to 20 years in prisonAs determined by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

In the plan, Haotian Sun and Pengfei Xue, both 33 years old, They sent fake iPhones purchased in Hong Kong to Apple repair providers, who in turn returned the original devices. Between May 2017 and September 2019, nearly 5 thousand mobile phones were sent to authorized companies.

According to a statement released by the court, the duo received the fake cellphones from Hong Kong via an international order from UPS in the Washington metropolitan area. In all, The scheme resulted in losses of US$3 million (approximately R$14 million) in Apple products.

To mask fraud, serial numbers of fake mobile phones were changed and criminals used various aliases to cover their tracks. The couple was arrested in December 2019.

A jury at the Columbia Court of Appeals in the US found the duo guilty of mail fraud. The maximum penalty for the crime is up to 20 years in prison.

The strategy is not new

This wasn’t the first time Apple’s repair and return system was used to steal cell phones. In April 2019, another group also exploited this loophole to obtain legitimate devices.

Likewise, criminals sent their defective mobile phones to Apple exchange centers and received new, original devices. In this case, more than 3 thousand mobile phones were sent for replacement.

The duo was caught by Apple in June 2017, which noticed that many shipping addresses were duplicated. The company then filed court orders asking the person responsible to stop shipping the devices.

Source: Tec Mundo

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I'm Ben Stock, a highly experienced and passionate journalist with a career in the news industry spanning more than 10 years. I specialize in writing content for websites, including researching and interviewing sources to produce engaging articles. My current role is as an author at Gadget Onus, where I mainly cover the mobile section.


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