FBI: Elaborate $1 million Verizon iPhone, iPad fraud busted

Chicago man preyed on Verizon, used FedEx employees to steal $1M worth of Apple iPhones, iPads

The FBI said a man admitted he ripped off more than $1 million worth of iPhones and iPads from Verizon Wireless using an elaborate scheme that involved misappropriating corporate purchasing accounts and bribing Federal Express drivers.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said Stephen Gunn of Chicago, 36, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

+More on Network World: The (mostly) cool history of the IBM mainframe+

According to court documents Gunn got into online accounts of dozens of Verizon's customers, including several customers located in New Jersey, and used those accounts to buy unauthorized electronic products, primarily, smart phones and accessories. He directed the fraudulently ordered products be shipped to addresses in Texas, including several addresses that did not exist, via Federal Express.

At Gunn's direction, two Federal Express drivers intercepted the shipments, removed the contents, and re-shipped the contents to addresses in Illinois provided by Gunn. In exchange, Gunn paid the drivers each thousands of dollars. Gunn fraudulently obtained approximately 1,700 items-including several hundred Apple iPhones and iPads, Blackberry devices, and Motorola phones-worth more than $1 million, the FBI said.

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for July 15, 2014.

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8 and on Facebook

Check out these other hot stories:

The government as whopping UFO skeptic

NASA snaps shot of flashy Mars-bound comet

NTSB reminds pilots to land at correct airport

IRS: Bitcoin is property not money

Artificial Intelligence challenge: Could a robot give its own TED talk?

US Navy preps Black Box finder for Malaysia Flight 370 search

Feds call $1M IRS scam largest ever

"We need more scientific mavericks"

Hopped-up Helicopters: DARPA funds radically faster, stronger aircraft

Harsh wireless conditions? Send in the drone hot spot

To comment on this article and other Network World content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter stream.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.