updated 10:50 am EST, Fri February 4, 2011
Apple gear bought using stolen credit info
The US government has indicted 27 people suspected of belonging to a fraud ring targeting Apple Stores, reports say. The group is accused of making fake credit cards using stolen data bought from the Internet, and in turn fraudulently buying $1 million or more in goods from Apple Stores in 13 states. Products like Macs and gift cards were fenced to bring in cash.
Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. says that the ring began operating in the middle of 2008, but was only detected in May 2010 when one of its members was arrested in New York City. The person actually continued to manage the ring while in jail; police subsequently launched an investigation and notified Apple. The other suspects were arrested earlier this week by both police and the Secret Service.
In detail Vance notes that the victim Apple Stores were based in New York, Florida, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Connecticut, Alabama, Oregon, Indiana, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the DC area. During searches, about $300,000 in cash and assorted holdings was seized, along with three guns and card-making equipment. Apple is said to have cooperated in the investigation.