The iPhone 15 Pro would finally have physical buttons, Apple
This scammer stole 1 million euros from Apple with fake iPhones for more than 3 years
Haiteng Wu, 32, devised a scheme that allowed him to scam Apple for no less than 3 years. The trick is simple: send fake iPhones to the manufacturer to exercise the warranty, and receive real smartphones in return. Before being arrested in 2019, he earned almost a million euros this way.
After arriving in the United States in 2013, Haiteng Wu, now 32, continued his exemplary academic career and obtained a respectable position. In other words, his life is the very embodiment of the American dream. Except that during this period, he mounted a criminal operation which brought him $1 million right in the face of Apple.
For 3 and a half years, Haiteng Wu ordered dozens of packages filled with fake iPhones from Hong Kong. Equipped with false serial numbers corresponding to genuine Apple devices, he then sent them directly to the Cupertino company, claiming a manufacturing defect to get the warranty. In exchange, he received brand new iPhones, which he then hastened to resell.
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He sends fake iPhones to Apple who see nothing but fire
Faced with the success of his small business, Haiteng Wu recruited several collaborators, including his wife Jiahong Cai, to help him develop his offer. The scammer did not stop there since he also indulged in falsification of identity papers, while arranging for his partners to travel safely across the United States.
Everything stops in 2019, when Haiteng Wu and his partners are arrested by the police. He then admits to having touched nearly $1 million, without Apple realizing anything. Without blushing, he adds that he would gladly have continued if he hadn’t been caught. He pleaded guilty to fraud in May 2020 and was sentenced to 26 months in prison as well as afined $987,000.
This isn’t the first time Apple has been tricked this way. In 2017, two American students developed the same technique, which also allowed them to embezzle nearly 1 million dollars.
Source: United States Department of Justice