$19M in iPhones stolen & images on iPhones nail a Mueller witness on the Apple crime blott...

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A counterfeiting ring is busted, fingerprints on an iPhone catch an accused thief, and government officials' iPhones and iPads seized in Flint water probe, all on the latest roundup of Apple crime.

The Apple Store in Fort Greene, Brooklyn
The Apple Store in Fort Greene, Brooklyn


The latest in an occasional AppleInsider series: The latest in Apple-related crime:

$19 million worth of iPhones stolen by fraud ring

In what is probably the largest theft of iPhones in the history of the device, a fraud ring based in New York stole $19 million worth of iPhones over a period of seven years. Per Quartz, the perpetrators ran a scam in which they posed as cell phone subscribers, received new iPhones at little to no cost by using fake IDs and fraudulent debit cards, and then sold the phones on the black market.

The case was reported earlier this spring, but the full criminal complaint was unsealed this week, revealing the perpetrators operated the scam in at least 34 states. The ring was busted when two members of it were arrested on unrelated charges, and evidence was found of their part in the iPhone fraud.

Mueller witness arrested after child pornography found on iPhones

George Nader, a Lebanese businessman and a witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, was arrested last week on child pornography charges. The government affidavit released after the arrest advises three iPhones were seized from him when Nader landed in the U.S. from a trip abroad in early 2018, consisting of an iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus. When agents searched for evidence related to the Russia matter, they found the offending images.

Nader, who had worked as a representative for various foreign governments, cooperated in the Mueller probe. He had previously been arrested on child pornography charges in the 1980s and of sexual abuse in the Czech Republic in 2003.

Fingerprints on iPhone catch accused armed robber

A man in Cleveland has had a warrant issued for his arrest after police say they found his fingerprints on a stolen iPhone X. According to Cleveland.com, police used Find My iPhone to track the phone after the robbery, and discovered it had the accused thief's fingerprints once the device was recovered from a sidewalk.

The man, who had previously done time, turned up in a fingerprint database.

Millions seized from ring that trafficked counterfeit Apple products

When the government arrested 10 people last year and charged them with 34 counts of fraud, money laundering and trafficking fake Apple and Samsung products, authorities seized more than $2 million in cash from bank and Amazon accounts. The Idaho Statesman reports the government also seized seven buildings each in Idaho and Brazil, as well as vehicles, silver coins and over 60 counterfeit cell phones, wrappers and packaging.

Ex-Michigan governor's iPhone and iPad seized in Flint probe

Government investigators probing the Flint water crisis obtained a warrant to seize the iPhone, iPad and other devices belonging to former Gov. Rick Snyder, as well as dozens of other current or former government officials. Per The New York Daily News, the probe is a criminal investigation.

Man accused of theft, pepper-spraying at Apple Stores arrested

A man who was accused of robbing a pair of Apple Store locations in the Atlanta area last year- and pepper-spraying employees- has been arrested.The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes the man was caught after a scar he had on his lip was recognized in a photo on his Facebook page.

iPhone, other items stolen from surfers

Numerous items, including a $700 iPhone, a $600 wallet and $100 cash was stolen from a group in Malibu, Calif., while they surfed, according to Malibu Surfside News.

Man with knives caught trying to steal from Brooklyn Apple Store

A man was arrested last month for attempting the theft of a computer from the Apple Store in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, while carrying knives. Per Brooklyn Paper, the man tried to steal a MacBook from the store by ripping it off its security wire, but doing so tripped a security alarm. Then, store security "pummeled the man to the floor and smashed the laptop in the process," per the newspaper. After the man was brought to a "security room" in the store, he raised his shirt to show a pair of knives. Police arrived soon afterward.

Theft of $5,000 in Apple products from AT&T store

A suspect stole $5,000 worth of Apple products, including three iPhones and iPads, from an AT&T store in Stevenson Ranch, Calif. Hometown Station reports the theft took place on an afternoon in mid-May.

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

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,055moderator
    Is there a similar crime blotter for other consumer electronics products?  It sure does seem Apple products are popular.  
  • Reply 2 of 6
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,755member
    Is there a similar crime blotter for other consumer electronics products?  It sure does seem Apple products are popular.  
    I remember reading about a guy that stole a phone and was arrested when he returned shortly after to return it because it was a Samsung and not an iPhone!
    technically, he didn’t steal an Apple product, so maybe that counts toward the Samsung blotter...
     :D 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 3 of 6
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,035member
    One thing you may not have heard:  Nader was charged under sealed indictment over a year ago.  They kept him out of jail (for child porn, no less) so he could "cooperate" with Mueller.  His lawyer was none other than former Obama WH counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler.   Ruemmler was once Mueller's Chief of Staff, where she was succeeded by John Carlin.  She was known as Obama's fixer, and was deeply involved in Benghazi and the Secret Service prostitution scandal.   

    Make if it what you will.  
  • Reply 4 of 6
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,570member
    sdw2001 said:
    One thing you may not have heard:  Nader was charged under sealed indictment over a year ago.  They kept him out of jail (for child porn, no less) so he could "cooperate" with Mueller.  His lawyer was none other than former Obama WH counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler.   Ruemmler was once Mueller's Chief of Staff, where she was succeeded by John Carlin.  She was known as Obama's fixer, and was deeply involved in Benghazi and the Secret Service prostitution scandal.   

    Make if it what you will.  
    This is why you do not want the government having access to your phone. Everyone is going to get wrapped around the Child Porn things, and miss the bigger issue you do not want the government on a fishing expedition inside your electronics. They maybe looking for one things and find nothing but could find other things to force you to cooperate or go to jail for something they originally was not even looking at you for.

    Remember this case

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/06/07/man-jailed-for-not-unlocking-iphone-adds-fuel-to-device-search-warrant-debate

    The problem is, even AI did not share the whole case. Most of the charges which lead to contempt of court charge were tossed due to lack of evidence. The THC oil the police claimed he had was not THC oil, and gun was the owner of the car which the guy was allowed to borrow and had no idea the owner hid a gun in the glove box. Yes the guy spent 44 days in jail for no unlocking his phone, but they were looking or other things he might have done wrong so they could bring more charges against him. This is like going to someone home who owns guns, and be a convicted criminal and be arrested because the police claiming you are in possession of firearm for being in the same room as the stored guns. At least this guy was smart enough to keep his phone lock, but was not too smart about keeping his mouth shut. 
    edited June 10
  • Reply 5 of 6
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,035member
    maestro64 said:
    sdw2001 said:
    One thing you may not have heard:  Nader was charged under sealed indictment over a year ago.  They kept him out of jail (for child porn, no less) so he could "cooperate" with Mueller.  His lawyer was none other than former Obama WH counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler.   Ruemmler was once Mueller's Chief of Staff, where she was succeeded by John Carlin.  She was known as Obama's fixer, and was deeply involved in Benghazi and the Secret Service prostitution scandal.   

    Make if it what you will.  
    This is why you do not want the government having access to your phone. Everyone is going to get wrapped around the Child Porn things, and miss the bigger issue you do not want the government on a fishing expedition inside your electronics. They maybe looking for one things and find nothing but could find other things to force you to cooperate or go to jail for something they originally was not even looking at you for.

    Remember this case

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/06/07/man-jailed-for-not-unlocking-iphone-adds-fuel-to-device-search-warrant-debate

    The problem is, even AI did not share the whole case. Most of the charges which lead to contempt of court charge were tossed due to lack of evidence. The THC oil the police claimed he had was not THC oil, and gun was the owner of the car which the guy was allowed to borrow and had no idea the owner hid a gun in the glove box. Yes the guy spent 44 days in jail for no unlocking his phone, but they were looking or other things he might have done wrong so they could bring more charges against him. This is like going to someone home who owns guns, and be a convicted criminal and be arrested because the police claiming you are in possession of firearm for being in the same room as the stored guns. At least this guy was smart enough to keep his phone lock, but was not too smart about keeping his mouth shut. 

    Well, I get the concern.  I still think I come down on the side of warrants being legal, so long as they are specific (which they have to be).   
  • Reply 6 of 6
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,862member
    Is there a similar crime blotter for other consumer electronics products?  It sure does seem Apple products are popular.  
    Sure. Just look at all the article about the corporate espionage from Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, and others brazenly stealing Apple's IP.
    edited June 10
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