FBI Busts $6M iPhone and iPad Counterfeit Ring

The FBI busted a counterfeit ring centered on iPhones and iPads that reportedly cost Apple over $6.1 million. The scheme involved importing more than 10,000 counterfeit iPhones and iPads from China, United States Attorney Robert Brewer said in a press release. The counterfeit devices were intentionally damaged and exchanged at Apple stores for authentic products, which were then shipped to China and other countries and sold at a markup, according to the release.

Genuine Apple iPhones and iPads have International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and serial numbers that are unique to each device. As part of the scheme, the counterfeit devices were equipped with IMEI and serial numbers that matched those of real devices covered by an Apple warranty in the US or Canada, according to the release.

“The manufacture of counterfeit goods, and their use to defraud US companies, seeks to fundamentally undermine the marketplace and harms innocent people whose identities were stolen in furtherance of these activities,” Brewer said. Using other people’s IMEI or serial numbers is a form of aggravated identity theft, according to the indictment, because the perpetrator… CNN Business

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