Two Oregon college students from China are facing charges after allegedly conning Apple out of almost $1 million by returning hundreds of fake iPhones to Apple and selling the iPhones Apple sent back for profit.
Yangyang Zhou and Quon Jiang are both students studying in the United States on legal foreign student visas, according to ABC News.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 8, 2019
The pair garnered almost $1 million by pretending to return fake iPhones to Apple and claiming they would not power on, whereupon Apple would send them real iPhones, which they would sell for profit through a broker (usually overseas, according to a federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Oregon).
“Jiang explained that in exchange for his labor and efforts, his associate in China pays Jiang’s mother, who also resides in China, who in tum deposits the proceeds into a (bank) account that Jiang is able to access here in the United States,” the court filing says.
Investigators found that 216 warranty claims were put in by Zhou, while 3,069 claims were put in by Jiang.
Apple rejected about 1,600 of the claims but accepted about 1,500, ultimately bringing in about $895,800 for Zhou and Jiang, according to the court filing.
The pair would have iPhones shipped to a variety of addresses, including the homes of family members.
An investigation began in 2017 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection tipped off investigators to a shipment of fake iPhones in Portland, according to ABC News.
Zhou was attending Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon, while Jiang was attending Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon.
Both students now face prison time if convicted, according to ABC News.
Jiang, who took the lead in the scheme, faces up to 30 years in jail and $2 million in fines.
Zhou could pay up to $10 million in fines and serve five years in jail.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.