Paul Manafort's iPod, ex-Apple employee's $243K embezzlement, and other news from the Appl...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 10
AppleInsider rounds up iPhone theft stories from Italy to the Philippines, the Apple Store habits of grifter Anna Delvey, and more from the world of Apple-related crime.

Apple crime handcuffs

Victoria's Secret purchases lead to former Apple assistant's embezzlement conviction, three-year sentence

A onetime administrative assistant for Apple has been convicted on embezzlement charges, after she was found to have used her company credit card to make six figures worth of unauthorized purchases, many of which were at Victoria's Secret. According to Fox News, 42-year-old Toni Ann Branca pled guilty to second-degree theft by deception, and was caught after she was found to have submitted duplicate requests for reimbursement, using the extra cash for personal spending at the lingerie retailer as well as Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Branca, whose Apple job consisted of scheduling and making travel arrangements, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Thieves slam into Houston Apple Store

A group of thieves in a stolen truck slammed into the front doors of an Apple Store in Houston's Highland Village at 3:23 a.m. on Thursday and grabbed various items. According to the Houston Chronicle, among the items the thieves stole were inoperable display merchandise.

iPhone purchase turned out to be a box of rocks

In a story straight out of a Charlie Brown cartoon, a Tennessee man tried to buy a pair of iPhones through a third-party app, and one of the boxes turned out to contain a sock full of rocks, while the other had a heavy lock. According to Fox 13 in Memphis, the man had arranged to buy an iPhone 8 and X for $930 on the "Let Go" app, but got a nasty surprise when he opened the box.

He filed a police report but no arrests have been made.

FBI took more than 20 Apple devices from Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort, the indicted former campaign manager for President Trump, was in the news this week after he was accused of witness tampering. Before that occurred, it was reported that when the FBI raided Manafort's condo, investigators had seized a long list of electronic devices, including more than 20 Apple products.

The list of hardware included 5 iPhones, an iMac, a MacBook Air, 7 iPods, and 2 iPad Minis. According to national security blog Empty Wheel, Manafort claimed in a filing that the iPods could not have possibly contained any evidence, but blog author Marcy Wheeler stated that the warrant allowed for the seizure of "storage media," which includes iPods.

Accused grifter "Anna Delvey" spent ill-gotten gains at Apple Store

Anna Sorokin, the alleged grifter who attempted to infiltrate New York high society under the name "Anna Delvey," spent some of the money she acquired through a complex web of financial machinations at a New York Apple Store. According to Vanity Fair, Sorokin's purchases on an Apple Store run prior to meeting with the author included a pair of new iPhones -- "one for her international number and one for a new local number."

Lawmaker in Philippines accuses labor leader of stealing iPhone X

A legislator in the Philippines, Tom Villarin, has filed charges against labor leader Jacinto Paras, claiming Paras stole his iPhone X during a government hearing. According to ABS-CBN News in Manila, Paras offered Villarin a power bank, but then took the phone after Villarin left.

Paras denies the theft but claims he "may have accidentally taken Villarin's phone together with his own things." Ironically Paras, during a past term in the legislature in 2001, was once accused of being part of a group that reportedly received bribes from major cellular networks.

Ellen Pompeo uses Find My iPhone to retrieve her phone in Italy

Ellen Pompeo, the actress from Grey's Anatomy, used Find My iPhone to retrieve her stolen purse on a recent vacation to Florence, Italy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"I was tracking my phone and chasing you down," she wrote on Instagram following the successful redemption of the purse. "I am nice but lets not forget my heritage... NAPOLITANO.... hai furtuno y io hai destine [You have fortune, I have destiny]"

Find My iPhone stops a forced marriage

In a much less light-hearted use of the location feature, a teenaged girl in the U.K. used Find My iPhone to help her boyfriend rescue her from a forced marriage in Bangladesh. The Daily Telegraph reported that the unnamed girl was tricked by her parents into traveling to Bangladesh in order to marry a cousin, so the cousin could obtain a British visa.

The girl's boyfriend in the U.K. found her location and alerted the authorities, who intervened to rescue the young woman. This led to a recent trial, where the parents were convicted of forced marriage and using violence or a form of coercion.

Find My iPhone solves theft at Ball State

Police at Ball State University in Indiana were able to use Find My iPhone to track and recover an iPhone that had been nabbed from a drawer in an unlocked office. Ball State Daily reported that the location feature led police to a 56-year-old Muncie man, who was charged with burglary, theft and resisting law enforcement, as well as a pair of outstanding warrants.

$60K in merchandise stolen from Mac Guys store

A break-in at the Mac Guys speciality store in La Crosse, Wisc., resulted in the theft of $60,000 worth of Macs and iPads. According to the The La Crosse Tribune, the 3 a.m. theft only took two minutes, and parts of the robbery were captured on security cameras.

Man accused of stealing iPad from City Hall

A California man was arrested last month after police found him passed out in his car, with an iPad that had been stolen days earlier from Ventura City Hall found among his possessions. According to Ventura City Star, the 53-year-old was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of stolen property.

iPhone stolen from car in Chicago traffic

Traffic on Chicago's Michigan Avenue went from bad to worse last week, when a thief reportedly grabbed an iPhone from a woman's bare hands as she sat in her car at a red light. According to Fox 32 in Chicago, the thief approached from behind, grabbed the iPhone and ran straight downstairs to a train station.

Have an Apple-related crime story for us? Email AppleInsider and tell us about it!.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    We didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    Soli
  • Reply 2 of 26
    ttollertonttollerton Posts: 152member
    Out of curiosity: is this “Apple related crime story” piece a new feature of AI?  I’ve never seen it before.  Is there a belief there is interest here?

    And are we focusing on (a) the theft of Apple products, or (b) alledged crimes where Apple products could’ve been part of criminal communications or activity?   If it’s the latter, your article should be thousands of pages long.  :). I work in digital forensics.  
    edited June 10 racerhomie3
  • Reply 3 of 26
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    Out of curiosity: is this “Apple related crime story” piece a new feature of AI?  I’ve never seen it before.  Is there a belief there is interest here?

    And are we focusing on (a) the theft of Apple products, or (b) alledged crimes where Apple products could’ve been part of criminal communications or activity?   If it’s the latter, your article should be thousands of pages long.  :). I work in digital forensics.  
    Every other Sunday, and it's whatever stories trip Stephen's fancy.

    This is the fifth one in the series.
    edited June 10 peterhartjony0
  • Reply 4 of 26
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,561member
    Can’t believe folk still steal iPhones.  Surely the can’t be worth much apart from breaking into spare parts?
    jony0
  • Reply 5 of 26
    asciiascii Posts: 5,816member
    Wow, how come that woman was able to submit 6 figures worth of duplicate expense claims before somebody noticed? Somebody at Apple going through the motions and not paying attention.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    Out of curiosity: is this “Apple related crime story” piece a new feature of AI?  I’ve never seen it before.  Is there a belief there is interest here?

    And are we focusing on (a) the theft of Apple products, or (b) alledged crimes where Apple products could’ve been part of criminal communications or activity?   If it’s the latter, your article should be thousands of pages long.  :). I work in digital forensics.  
    Ppl love crime stories of almost any kind., and these involving iPhones are cool. Two friends In digital forensics love tracing/tracking stories. Plenty of other non-crimi reads for those not interested.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    gumashowgumashow Posts: 50member
    Not sure where this supposed Italian quote came from but the Y in this quote is Spanish, not Italian. There is no Y in the Italian language. Just to be clear — here’s the quote “hai furtuno “Y” io hai destine [You have fortune, I have destiny]"”. For a NAPOLITANO she sure doesn’t speak Italian. Y = “and” in Spanish.... E = “and” in Italian. It should be, “e” not “y” — Ok, I’m done. 
    MacProcaladanianjony0
  • Reply 8 of 26
    claire1claire1 Posts: 357unconfirmed, member
    Why do people steal iPhones? I thought stealing phones ended when iPhone was invented. Before you can steal a phone, sell it and put it in service.

    Out of curiosity: is this “Apple related crime story” piece a new feature of AI?  I’ve never seen it before.  Is there a belief there is interest here?

    And are we focusing on (a) the theft of Apple products, or (b) alledged crimes where Apple products could’ve been part of criminal communications or activity?   If it’s the latter, your article should be thousands of pages long.  :). I work in digital forensics.  

    Have any iPhones locked with a passcode ever been unlocked?
  • Reply 9 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,520member
    If I remember correctly iPods at one time could be mounted on the desktop as an external device and files could be transferred to them. 
  • Reply 10 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,231member
    claire1 said:
    Have any iPhones locked with a passcode ever been unlocked?
    Of course.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,899member
    We didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    Of course.  Can't make a joke, I guess.  Welcome to the New AI.  
  • Reply 12 of 26
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,231member
    sdw2001 said:
    We didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    Of course.  Can't make a joke, I guess.  Welcome to the New AI.  
    While I did see your comment as a joke, I also saw that it was going to cause others to chime in with partisan comments that wouldn't have been jokey and that would've derailed the thread. Think of Mike deleting your comment as being akin to dumping water on a fire pit at at campsite to prevent a forest fire even though you could hardly see an ember burning.
    edited June 11 ronn
  • Reply 13 of 26
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    sdw2001 said:
    We didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    Of course.  Can't make a joke, I guess.  Welcome to the New AI.  
    I was confused about the disclaimer at first. “How could this post be partisan?” I thought.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,899member
    Soli said:
    sdw2001 said:
    We didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    Of course.  Can't make a joke, I guess.  Welcome to the New AI.  
    While I did see your comment as a joke, I also saw that it was going to cause others to chime in with partisan comments that wouldn't have been jokey and that would've derailed the thread. Think of Mike deleting your comment as being akin to dumping water on a fire pit at at campsite to prevent a forest fire even though you could hardly see an ember burning.

    I realize this will likely be deleted, but that attitude is exactly the problem.  AI has banned ALL political opinions, even as they relate to Apple directly.  
  • Reply 15 of 26
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    sdw2001 said:
    Soli said:
    sdw2001 said:
    We didn't make this partisan, and neither will you.
    Of course.  Can't make a joke, I guess.  Welcome to the New AI.  
    While I did see your comment as a joke, I also saw that it was going to cause others to chime in with partisan comments that wouldn't have been jokey and that would've derailed the thread. Think of Mike deleting your comment as being akin to dumping water on a fire pit at at campsite to prevent a forest fire even though you could hardly see an ember burning.

    I realize this will likely be deleted, but that attitude is exactly the problem.  AI has banned ALL political opinions, even as they relate to Apple directly.  
    Why would this post get deleted? It's not going to start a fight.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    ronnronn Posts: 293member
    sdw2001 said:

    I realize this will likely be deleted, but that attitude is exactly the problem.  AI has banned ALL political opinions, even as they relate to Apple directly.  
    Unfortunately, political discussions descend into chaos and off-topic nonsense. I wish AI would have a dedicated political section, but understand that still takes a lot of oversight and energy that may not be worth it for AI.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,899member
    ronn said:
    sdw2001 said:

    I realize this will likely be deleted, but that attitude is exactly the problem.  AI has banned ALL political opinions, even as they relate to Apple directly.  
    Unfortunately, political discussions descend into chaos and off-topic nonsense. I wish AI would have a dedicated political section, but understand that still takes a lot of oversight and energy that may not be worth it for AI.

    A newbie, I see.  We had one until last year.  We had AppleOutsider, then a sub-thread called PoliticalOutsider for like 15 years.  
  • Reply 18 of 26
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,229administrator
    sdw2001 said:
    ronn said:
    sdw2001 said:

    I realize this will likely be deleted, but that attitude is exactly the problem.  AI has banned ALL political opinions, even as they relate to Apple directly.  
    Unfortunately, political discussions descend into chaos and off-topic nonsense. I wish AI would have a dedicated political section, but understand that still takes a lot of oversight and energy that may not be worth it for AI.

    A newbie, I see.  We had one until last year.  We had AppleOutsider, then a sub-thread called PoliticalOutsider for like 15 years.  
    And yet, forum traffic is up, moderation time is down, the negative domain-wide impact on SEO from some of the nonsense that was in there has fallen, and the forums are losing way less money. 

    I appreciate that some may miss it, though.
    ronncaladanian
  • Reply 19 of 26
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,721member
    Can you check the validity of this story.  I saw a video the custom official of some country opened two iPhones and found drugs inside. This crime is punishable for death. The traveler was asked by a friend to help bring the iPhones to that country. 
  • Reply 20 of 26
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,314member
    ascii said:
    Wow, how come that woman was able to submit 6 figures worth of duplicate expense claims before somebody noticed? Somebody at Apple going through the motions and not paying attention.
    Yeah...you'd think Apple would have control systems in place.   Doesn't she have a boss who had to sign off?   In all the companies I worked for, you had to submit original receipts so you couldn't submit the same receipts twice.   When I was an exec and we were at a trade show where the President took the entire staff out to dinner, sometimes he'd make me put the dinner charge on my credit card, so his boss wouldn't have to sign off (which was ridiculous because every employee at the show was entitled to dinner anyway).   But my department budget couldn't afford that charge, so I'd do an inter-company chargeback later and he'd get pissed at me.   I'd laugh and say, "then you'll yell at me for going over my T&E budget!"

    It makes me wonder if people at Apple get away with a lot of phony T&E expenses.  


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