Defrauding Apple of $1 Million: Man sentenced to 26 months in US

 A Chinese citizen was sentenced to a US prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Apple of $1 million (about 6.36 million yuan) using fake iPhones 26 months in prison. Haiteng Wu, 32, moved to the US in 2013 to study engineering. He received his master's degree in 2015 and was legally employed two years later. At the same time, however, he began a three-and-a-half-year scheme to defraud Apple, the DOJ said.

The program involves receiving counterfeits from Hong Kong, China, whose IMEI and serial numbers correspond to real Apple devices. Wu, along with other co-conspirators, returned the illegitimate devices to Apple, claiming they were legitimate devices still under warranty. The purpose is to get a regular iPhone device as a replacement.

These regular replacement iPhone models were then shipped overseas, including by co-conspirators in Hong Kong, China.

Wu recruited others, including his wife Jiahong Cai, to take part in the scheme. In addition to the conspiracy itself, Wu obtained fake IDs, opened multiple business mail inboxes, and arranged for members of the scheme to travel in the United States.

Wu admitted that he defrauded Apple of $1 million in total, adding that he intends to continue the scheme. Wu and his co-conspirators were arrested in December 2019. He has been in custody since then.

Wu pleaded guilty in May 2020 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. On Tuesday, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan sentenced Wu to 26 months in custody and ordered him to pay $987,000 in restitution, as well as a fine of the same amount.

Like her husband, Cai pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in May 2020.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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