Two crooks who stole $1.5 million from Apple over a three-year period have been sentenced to 13 years in prison combined.
In September 2021, it was reported that two scammers had developed a scheme to use point-of-sale devices stolen from Apple stores to generate Apple gift cards, between 2015 and 2017.
The scam was activated thanks to a portable device present in the points of sale and reserved for employees called “Isaac”. Employees carry this device around the store to check inventory and sell products to customers. One of the scammers broke into the Apple Store and waited for the right moment to steal an Isaac device. Later, he sat outside the same store, still connected to Wi-Fi, and used the employee’s registered account on Isaac to purchase digital gift certificates worth thousands of dollars.
The digital gift card codes were then uploaded to the Wallet app to generate QR codes, which were filtered and sent via iMessage to the other conspirator, who was able to visit other Apple Stores and purchase a range of high-value Apple devices. This process was then repeated across the country, allowing the couple to defraud Apple for over $1.5 million.
For example, one of the scammers stole 26 Apple digital gift cards in Texas worth $50,000, while on the same day his partner used the gift cards to buy Apple products in New York.
Luckily, the couple were caught stealing Isaac devices from Apple Stores via CCTV cameras and were eventually tracked down and arrested by the FBI. They later pleaded guilty to computer fraud.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, the perpetrators were sentenced to a combined 13 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.26 million to Apple. It is unclear whether Apple has made any changes to its internal systems and access to employee accounts on Isaac to prevent this type of scam.