Scammers Who Stole $1.5 Million From Apple Sentenced to Combined 13 Years in Jail

Two scammers who stole $1.5 million from Apple over a period of three years using the company's own technology have been sentenced to a combined 13 years in prison.

Apple Logo Cash Orange 1
It was reported in September 2021 that two scammers developed a scheme to use point-of-sale devices stolen from Apple stores to generate fraudulent Apple gift cards between 2015 and 2017.

The scam was enabled through a handheld employee-only point-of-sale device called an "Isaac." Retail employees carry Isaacs around in the store, allowing them to check stock and sell products to customers wherever they are.

One of the scammers simply walked into Apple Stores across the country and waited for opportune moments to steal an Isaac device. They then sat outside the same store, still connected to its Wi-Fi network, and used the logged-in employee account on the Isaac to acquire thousands of dollars worth of digital gift cards.

The digital gift card redemption codes were then loaded into the Wallet app to generate QR codes, which were screenshot and sent via iMessage to the other conspirator, who was then able to walk into other Apple Stores and buy a range of high-value Apple devices. This process was then repeated across the country, allowing the pair to defraud Apple out of more than $1.5 million in total, according to the indictment.

One of the scammers stole $50,000 worth of digital Apple gift cards in Texas, while on the same day, his partner used the gift cards to buy thousands of dollars worth of Apple products in New York. The haul in Southlake, Texas, alone totaled $50,000 using 26 digital gift cards.

The pair were finally caught stealing Isaac devices in Apple Stores on CCTV and were eventually tracked down using their cellphone via GPS, before finally being arrested by the FBI. They subsequently pled guilty to wire fraud.

According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Texas, the perpetrators have now been sentenced to a combined 13 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.26 million in restitution to Apple. It is unclear if Apple has made any changes to its internal systems and access to employee accounts on Isaacs to prevent the same scam from being attempted again.

Top Rated Comments

HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
11 months ago

Smart yet not... how long did they really think it would be until they were caught. One would think that every store they hit would have a massive drawer imbalance and start looking.
Perhaps Apple uses Siri to track the drawer?

"Siri, why are we $50,000 short in the drawer today?"

"I don't know what you mean by short in the drawer today... here's what I found online for short in the drawer today."

"No Siri, in the register drawer... accounting... accounting"

"I don't know what you mean by register drawer... accounting... accounting... here's what I found online for register drawer... accounting... accounting"

;)

But more seriously: sounds like "Issac" needs some touchID or faceID.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sniffies Avatar
11 months ago
To prevent this scam from happening again, Apple upgrades all Apple Isaacs and Apple Newtons to Apple Alberts.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
johncarync Avatar
11 months ago
I looked up the two men who perpetrated this and found that one of them was arrested at a Florida airport in 2016 for having 65 counterfeit credit cards in another person's name in his carry-on luggage. In the Apple crime, he was sentenced to five years in prison. The other man has a common name and could not determine if he has a criminal history. He was sentenced to three years and one month.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rpmurray Avatar
11 months ago
So they get to keep $240,000?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tyranne201 Avatar
11 months ago
USA judicial system is quite bizarre. 13 years is basically a sentence for killing someone in most countries. I'm impressed how people spend time in jail for nonsense things. No wonder it has the most jailed people in the world. The fact they already are paying fines and restitution should give them no more than 5 years in jail. This is kinda broken.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
usagora Avatar
11 months ago

Jail? Not prison?
While tecnically different, people use the terms interchangeably. I don't think anyone's confused by it ?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off) [Updated]

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
mac studio pink

Apple May Not Launch Updated Mac Studio With M2 Ultra Chip Due to Similarity With Upcoming Mac Pro

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:06 am PST by
A new version of the Mac Studio with the "M2 Ultra" chip is unlikely to arrive in the near future, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that since the upcoming Apple silicon Mac Pro is "very similar in functionality to the Mac Studio," Apple may wait until the release of M3- or M4-series chips to update the machine, or...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
top stories 4feb2023

Top Stories: New HomePod Launches, iOS 16.3.1 Coming Soon, and More

Saturday February 4, 2023 6:00 am PST by
This week saw the launch of the final product from Apple's January hardware announcements, with the second-generation HomePod making its way into customers' hands. Other news and rumors this week included signs of an interim iOS 16.3.1 bug fix update in the works as we await a fresh round of beta testing for a more significant iOS 16.4 update, a report on the potential dangers of using...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Friday February 3, 2023 1:28 pm PST by
Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original HomePod that Apple discontinued in 2021. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the second-generation HomePod looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh...