dash-256Last week, popular API documentation browser Dash was removed from the App Store after Apple accused the app's developer of "fraudulent conduct," including almost 1,000 fraudulent reviews detected across two accounts and 25 apps.

The two accounts were linked together by common credit card, bank account, developer ID login, and bundle ID, according to iMore.

Dash developer Bogdan Popescu responded with his side of the story the next day, claiming the secondary account exists because he helped a relative get started by paying for her Apple Developer Program Membership using his credit card.

What I’ve done: 3-4 years ago I helped a relative get started by paying for her Apple’s Developer Program Membership using my credit card. I also handed her test hardware that I no longer needed. From then on those accounts were linked in the eyes of Apple. Once that account was involved with review manipulation, my account was closed.

Popescu said he "was not aware" his developer account was linked to another until Apple contacted him two days after removing Dash from the App Store.

However, the developer community has presented compelling evidence suggesting otherwise -- which we present as speculation.

Earlier this week, developer Steven Troughton-Smith appeared to have discovered the secondary account, belonging to Mihaela Popescu. A cached iTunes page shows a list of 19 apps belonging to this account, tied to the same com.kapeli bundle identifier, all of which have since been removed from the App Store.

mihaela-moveaddict
MacRumors forum member frumpsnake dug further and discovered some of those apps were at one time promoted on his website, including iGuard and moveAddict. Kapeli, the name of Bogdan's company, also tweeted about moveAddict, and there is even a moveAddict press release tied to his name.

kapeli-moveaddict

A cached version of Bogdan's website shows moveAddict and iGuard

From the press release:

Bogdan Popescu, a Software Engineering student at Coventry University, took this as a challenge from Apple - moveAddict is the result of one month's work.

MacRumors reader architect1337 subsequently discovered the screenshot file below, which has a date of Sunday, January 12, 2014, belongs to a user called "bogdan."

file_view

Select the next image. We can examine the image and see the file owner is a user called 'bogdan'. This would indicate that when these screenshots were taken, a user called 'bogdan' owned files on that mac and created this file on this date (creation date).

I'm sure there are circumstances where the original author gave all his old software to Mihaela and that she continued to sell and update the entry (on this site) for his (and perhaps others) software.

Apple had agreed to reinstate Dash on the App Store if Bogdan agreed to acknowledge fraudulent activity occurring between the two linked accounts, but he refused. Apple then commented on the matter publicly, at which point Bogdan disclosed a private phone call with the company, so it's unclear if that offer still stands.

Update: Bogdan Popescu has provided his side of the story in a statement given to iMore, explaining that the secondary account belonged to his mother and that he had transferred over some apps to focus his attention on Dash.

(Thanks, Alastair!)

Top Rated Comments

ErikGrim Avatar
63 months ago
Actually what's frightening here is all the Apple defenders. It seems to me that everything the developer said is true and makes sense. It is coherent and consistent.
Haha. You are kidding right?

Let's refresh everyone's memory with frumpsnake's story of what actually happened:

#293 ('https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-says-1-000-fraudulent-reviews-were-detected-across-two-accounts-owned-by-dash-developer-update-developer-responds.2005850/page-12#post-23708918')
Gather round, folks, let me tell you a story.

So 5 or 6 years ago, this guy named Bogdan Popescu starts a company called Kapeli and writes a bunch of Shovelware. Puts out a bunch of PR for crap like MoveAddict.
http://www.macworld.co.uk/opinion/a...ly-able-cutpaste-files-merge-folders-3485573/ ('http://www.macworld.co.uk/opinion/apple/press-release-mac-os-x-finally-able-cutpaste-files-merge-folders-3485573/')
http://imgur.com/C2vjkig ('http://imgur.com/C2vjkig')

All of this is featured on his website, kapeli.com. There in the header...moveAddict, iGuard…and something called ‘Dash’.
https://web.archive.org/web/20120409173750/http://kapeli.com/ ('https://web.archive.org/web/20120409173750/http://kapeli.com/')
http://imgur.com/W94bGnl ('http://imgur.com/W94bGnl')

{edit:
Even his old Twitter posts confirm this.
https://twitter.com/kapeli/status/24561715939 ('https://twitter.com/kapeli/status/24561715939')
http://imgur.com/qYSESjl ('http://imgur.com/qYSESjl')
}

Over time, Dash explodes in popularity. It fills a niche and is actually legitimately useful. He “goes legit”, creates a new dev account tied to the same com.kapeli bundle identifier. Suddenly — publically, to those who can’t see his bundle identifiers — it’s the only app he makes!
https://webcache.googleusercontent....popescu/id404213174+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au ('https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:qoxummH4tkYJ:https://itunes.apple.com/us/developer/bogdan-popescu/id404213174+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au')
http://imgur.com/gGccgDj ('http://imgur.com/gGccgDj')

But what to do with all the other shovelware though? Not to worry, it can stay on the other account. Spam some reviews, get some idiots to buy it, easy beer money on the side. Let’s just change the author to “Mihaela” instead.

https://webcache.googleusercontent....46869+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ie&client=safari ('https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TO_CAdJUiEcJ:https://itunes.apple.com/us/developer/mihaela-popescu/id603546869+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ie&client=safari')
https://i.imgur.com/m70tauN.png ('https://i.imgur.com/m70tauN.png')
(There's our good friends, moveAddict and iGuard!)

During a routine Apple account transfer…he gets caught.

All of a sudden he cries foul. There WAS a second account, but it’s not his! It’s a female family member’s. It was some account that he had nothing to do with. He forgot about it! It’s ancient history!

…it just houses literally *everything* the guy previously created that isn’t Dash. Including apps such as moveAddict and iGuard previously prominently featured on the dude’s website and PR spam. In his name.

Now both Apple and Popescu are in agreement — there are only two accounts with his com.kapeli bundle identifier. Apple says they are both his. He claims he only has one, and a relative has one. So why are *his* apps on *both* accounts, his and Mihaelas?

Did he gift the entire source code and ongoing revenue of these apps to this 'family member' as well? What a great guy! Still it sounds like something that might be worth mentioning during this whole mixup, either to his faithful blog readers or Apple. It might have cleared things up rather quickly.

Despite the fact that his whole story falls apart on scrutiny, Apple bend over backwards and will reinstate his account if he admits some wrongdoing. Stubborn dude refuses to budge, posts illegally obtained phone calls…

…and yet people still criticise Apple and believe this guy.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
solace Avatar
63 months ago
Smelled fishy from the moment he opened his mouth honestly.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rudy69 Avatar
63 months ago
People gave me a hard time when I said the whole thing was fishy and I didn't believe his story. Glad to see I was right
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
asleep Avatar
63 months ago
Always enjoy following instances of crowdsourcing the truth.

Popescu's "the dog ate my homework" excuse never passed the smell test.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bbeagle Avatar
63 months ago
People gave me a hard time when I said the whole thing was fishy and I didn't believe his story. Glad to see I was right
Because most people on here are Apple trolls who are against Apple's every move.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
63 months ago
Given this new evidence, the developer's defence is looking iffy. Unfortunately.
I disagree in part. There's nothing unfortunate. Apple gave the guy numerous chances to clean up his act, and instead he tried to turn it into a circus. In the end, it reinforces that Apple is at least doing their due diligence and not being precipitous about things like this.
[doublepost=1476374732][/doublepost]
No opinion on the truth here—but is it possible he knew about his relative's apps, helped promote them (including on his site), but did NOT know the accounts were still linked? (And in theory, did not know about the review abuse?)
In the end, the buck stops with him.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...