(FiveNation.com)- A Chinese national has just been sentenced to more than two years in prison after being found guilty of defrauding American tech company Apple out of over $1 million. The Chinese national, Wu Haiteng, was also ordered to pay out roughly $2 million.
The news comes from a joint statement issued by the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Attorney’s office. The statement revealed that Wu Hiateng was guilty of engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the technology company over a period of three years.
His plan involved importing fake iPhones, the popular handheld device made by Apple since 2007, from Hong Kong. The devices used fake serial numbers and IMEI numbers which were taken from real phones covered by warranties. The fake devices were then being “returned” to Apple by Wu and other members of his criminal team, exchanging them for brand new legitimate Apple devices.
Over time, it meant that Apple was taking fake phones and replacing them with brand new hardware worth significantly more. It not only meant Apple was losing money, but also caused problems for real Apple customers whose IMEI and serial numbers were spoofed, making it difficult for them to exchange their devices in the future.
The new Apple devices were shipped back to Hong Kong and to several other countries.
Wu’s wife was one of a number of people working for him in the criminal enterprise, and was responsible for obtaining fake ID documents, opening commercial P.O. boxes, and arranging for other members of their team to travel to different parts of the country to return devices to official Apple stores.
Wu admitted to defrauding the company out of a total of roughly $1 million. His sentencing was long-awaited, too, after having first been arrested – along with his wife and another associate – in 2019.
“ Wu pleaded guilty in May 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Today, the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan sentenced Wu to the time he already has served in custody, which amounts to approximately 26 months,” the official statement revealed.