A Chinese citizen was ordered to serve 26 months of a US prison due to his involvement in the scheme to fraudulently defraud Apple out more than $1 million by selling counterfeit iPhones. Haiteng Wu, who is 32 was a Chinese national who immigrated from China to the U.S. in 2013 to learn about engineering. He graduated with a Master’s degree in the year 2015 and was able to secure legal employment two years afterward.
However, the Justice Department said that, at the same time, he embarked on a three-and-a-half-year scheme to defraud Apple. The scheme involved receiving shipments of counterfeit clones from Hong Kong that had spoofed IMEI and serial numbers corresponding to authentic Apple devices. Wu and other conspirators, would return these fake devices to Apple and claim that they were genuine and in warranty. The intention was to get authentic iPhone devices to be replaced.
The authentic replacement models were then sent back to conspirators abroad which included Hong Kong. Wu has also recruited other individuals including Wu’s wife Jiahong Cai who also joined the scheme. Apart from the plot itself, Wu was also able to obtain fake identification documents, opened several commercial mailboxes that received mail, and also arranged for the members of the plot to travel throughout the U.S.
In all, Wu acknowledged that he was able to defraud Apple out of more than $1 million. He added that he was planning to carry on the fraud. Wu and his co-conspirator were detained in December of this year. Wu has been detained since. Wu admitted guilt in one case of conspiring for mail fraud in the month of May 2020.
On Tuesday the 23rd of May, judge Emmet G. S. Sullivan sentenced Wu to the time of 26 months already been detained and ordered Wu to pay $987,000 compensation, as well as the same amount in a forfeiture judgment. As the husband she shares, Cai has also admitted to a conspiracy charge of fraud by mail in May of 2020. The investigation was carried out through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations as well as the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.